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Under the Trump administration, people with decidedly anti-LGBTQIA+ histories hold leadership positions across a number of agencies, offices and entities that represent the U.S. internationally. Members of the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights (CUR) opposed marriage equality and denied transgender people’s lived experiences. The chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was deemed “the most recognizable anti-LGBTQ activist in America,” and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated his continued opposition to marriage equality as he took the job. These discriminatory views were engrained into diplomacy at the U.N. and into policy, with the CUR erasing LGBTQ protections as human rights and USAID removing gender-inclusive language from its gender equality report.

Under the Biden-Harris administration, these harmful actions must be swiftly and effectively reversed. Then, additional safeguards should be implemented to protect against discriminatory decisions jeopardizing LGBTQIA+ communities. To further advance equity, federal agencies should work to strengthen data collection to allow for analysis of multiple characteristics and the identification of disparities, including those resulting from sex assigned at birth, gender identity and sexual orientation.