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senate Bill S. 1825

Should the U.S. Deny Entry to Foreign Nationals Complicit in Violence Against LGBTI Individuals?

Argument in favor

The U.S. and Congress shouldn’t stand by idly while human rights are trampled and ignored around the world. This bill would empower the executive branch with additional authority to take action against human rights violators around the world.

jimK's Opinion
···
last Sunday
In general, I strongly support this legislation. It is a way of telling the world that our country believes in human rights and that our country chooses to deny entry to those who use violence to oppress any group of people for nothing more than their human rights be who they they were born to be or have chosen to become. I agree with specifically calling out the LGBTI community rights to exist as a group that is not trying to impose their rights to infringe upon the human rights of other ‘groups’ of people. I think this legislation should be expanded to cover racial, ethnic and religious groups as well. With that addition, I think this legislation is a far more powerful long-term expression of what we value as a country - and that we are willing to demonstrate our commitment to our values by limiting access to our country for those who violently suppress fundamental human rights. It is a far more powerful message than targeted sanctions for human rights abuses alone, which often seem to be more about political pressure than our actual beliefs. At any rate, this legislation could set the stage for sanctions if needed and make sanctions to be viewed more as statement of who we are and less of a political maneuver. Finally, there needs to be clarity regarding ‘who and ‘how much’ involvement in violent suppression of human rights should be on the ‘list’ of people denied access. This should be specified to ensure the process is honestly applied as a statement of our beliefs and not as a political tool to selectively target specific countries; the credibility of this legislation as a notice to the world of our beliefs is lost if is used as a means to selectively pressure other countries to support some other agenda.
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Brian's Opinion
···
last Sunday
As a member of the community I already face enough criticism from my fellow citizens and family members. I don’t need it from foreign nationals also.
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Ticktock's Opinion
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last Sunday
Do we need to import prejudice? If people who want to enter the US have already committed violent acts based on discrimination or prejudice why would we even want to think of allowing them into our country. We have enough citizens right here in the US that are perfectly able and willing gladly to fill that slot. Unfortunately we can’t get rid of them.
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Argument opposed

This bill is too broad, and could trample on freedom of religious expression and human rights in other nations. It’s also duplicative with the Global Magnitsky Act, so it wouldn’t provide any new protections for LGBTI individuals that aren’t already provided in existing law.

Bryan's Opinion
···
last Sunday
Why are we enforcing a ban on this type of violence (to be clear I am not advocating violence against LGBT) yet turn a blind eye and open arms to those individuals that use violence on our southern border against women and children?
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John's Opinion
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last Sunday
Shouldn’t our policy deny U. S. Entry to foreign nationals complicit against ANY American individual, equally? Why would select the LGBTI as being more important than any other form of hatred? Isn’t hatred toward religion or race equal to the hatred towards the LGBTI community. Why is our government creating laws that segregate our society? Please stop it. Please get back to creating laws that protect all American citizens. When discussing border security we can not focus on the protection of individual group of our population.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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last Sunday
I am concerned about the vague terms and the fact that many of the legislators don’t even know what the “I” in LGBQTI stands for. Before we start banning people shouldn’t we be clear on what exactly the criteria is?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedJune 13th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 1825?

This bill — the Global Respect Act of 2019 — would require the U.S. to employ visa bans against foreign nationals who are complicit to violence against LGBTI individuals. A breakdown of its various provisions can be found below.

Specifically, this bill would: 

  • Require the executive branch to biannually send Congress a list of foreign persons responsible for, or complicit in cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of an individual; prolonged detention of an individual without charges or trials; causing the disappearance of an individual by abduction and clandestine detention of an individual; other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty or the security of an individual;
  • Deny or revoke visas to individuals placed on the list, with waivers for national security or to allow attendance at the United Nations;
  • Require the annual State Department Report on Human Rights to include a section on LGBTI international human rights, as well as an annual report to Congress on the status of the law’s effectiveness; and
  • Require the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to designate a senior officer responsible for tracking violence, criminalization, and restrictions on the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms in foreign countries based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Impact

Imposition of sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals abroad; U.S. foreign affairs; executive branch; annual State Department Report on Human Rights; Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; United Nations; and foreign nations that don’t adequately protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals’ rights.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1825

$1.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $1 million to implement over the 2019-2024 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to impose sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals abroad

“LGBTI rights are human rights, and as we witness governments around the world trample on those rights, it is incumbent on the United States to take action. This bipartisan effort is an unmistakable message from Congress that we will not sit idly by while people are persecuted, jailed or murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We are empowering the administration with additional authority to take action against human rights violators. As LGBTI people around the globe endure precarious, or deadly, conditions every day, time is of the essence. I urge Leader McConnell to move swiftly and bring this bill up for a vote.”

When she introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Sen. Shaheen specifically cited concerns about LGBTI persecution in Russia and Indonesia: 

“While we’ve seen tremendous progress towards equality in the United States, the LGBT community is still threatened by violence and harassment here at home and around the world. Recent reports of LGBT persecution in Russia and Indonesia are horrifying. No one should live in fear of physical violence or oppression because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Global Respect Act would send a strong message to the international community that those who persecute LGBT individuals are in violation of human rights and are not welcome in the United States.”

This bill’s House sponsor in both the 115th and 116th Congresses, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a co-chair of the House Equality Caucus, adds

“The United States and the international community have a responsibility to condemn horrific acts of discrimination and targeted violence against all individuals, including egregious offenses based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Global Respect Act will ensure that abusers of the LGBTI community are held to account and uphold America’s commitment to defending basic human rights in all corners of the world.” 

After this bill passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Cicilline said

“Every human being deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, millions of LGBTI people around the world are targeted with violence, harassment, discrimination, and worse every single day. The United States needs to stand as an advocate for oppressed and marginalized communities across the world. That’s why I’m pleased this bill is moving to the House floor and bringing us one step closer to imposing real penalties on anyone who abuses the human rights of LGBTI people.”

Critics of this bill argue that it goes too far, and could be used to curtail human rights, including religious freedom and freedom of expression by foreign citizens. They also point out that it remains unclear how this bill would improve on existing mechanisms for addressing human rights violations, or to what extent it could infringe on other rights through overreach. The Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), which is skeptical of this bill, sums the issue up, “With regard to the Global Respect Act, it is up to Congress to ensure that the cure is not worse than the disease.”

The pro-family movement organization Eagle Forum, which also opposes this bill, adds: 

“The Global Respect Act contains broad language that can be interpreted in a manner that imposes sanctions on any foreigner who publicly expresses disapproval of homosexuality and transgender ideology through the ‘flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of the individual.’ This is a threat to a person’s religious freedom and freedom of speech. Living in harmonious diversity is a cornerstone of the United States and only made possible by the rights granted to us through our Constitution. Because of this, our foreign policy must not provide protections and then punishments for those who disagree with the offended party.”

The Eagle Forum also argues that this bill doesn’t create any new protections not already provided by the Global Magnitsky Act, which provides for presidential sanctions to prevent human rights violators from entering the U.S.

This legislation has nine bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including six Democrats and three Republicans. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by voice vote with the support of 65 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 64 Democrats and one Republican. It’s endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom House and Council for Global Equality. 

In the 115th Congress, this legislation had one Senate cosponsor, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Cicilline, had 81 Democratic House cosponsors. Neither bill received a committee vote last Congress. Sen. Shaheen and Rep. Cicilline first introduced this legislation in the 114th Congress.


Of Note: According to a 2015 United Nations report, thousands of incidents of physical violence are committed against LGBTI individuals around the world each year. Additionally, Amnesty International reports that about a dozen nations enforce homophobic laws carrying a death penalty. Additionally, over 80 countries, including Russia, Cameroon, and Nigeria criminalize same-sex relations.

The State Dept.’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has documented hostility toward LGBTQ citizens in every region of the world. These violations include murder, rape, torture, death threats, extortion, imprisonment, and loss of employment and access to health care, as well as restrictions on freedoms of assembly, press, and speech. 

Earlier in 2019, the Treasury Dept. took it upon itself to impose sanctions on a group of five Chechen individuals, including at least three Russians, under the Magnitsky Act over allegations of extrajudicial killings and the torture of LGBT people.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / SolStock)

AKA

Global Respect Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to impose sanctions with respect to foreign persons responsible for violations of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals, and for other purposes.

    In general, I strongly support this legislation. It is a way of telling the world that our country believes in human rights and that our country chooses to deny entry to those who use violence to oppress any group of people for nothing more than their human rights be who they they were born to be or have chosen to become. I agree with specifically calling out the LGBTI community rights to exist as a group that is not trying to impose their rights to infringe upon the human rights of other ‘groups’ of people. I think this legislation should be expanded to cover racial, ethnic and religious groups as well. With that addition, I think this legislation is a far more powerful long-term expression of what we value as a country - and that we are willing to demonstrate our commitment to our values by limiting access to our country for those who violently suppress fundamental human rights. It is a far more powerful message than targeted sanctions for human rights abuses alone, which often seem to be more about political pressure than our actual beliefs. At any rate, this legislation could set the stage for sanctions if needed and make sanctions to be viewed more as statement of who we are and less of a political maneuver. Finally, there needs to be clarity regarding ‘who and ‘how much’ involvement in violent suppression of human rights should be on the ‘list’ of people denied access. This should be specified to ensure the process is honestly applied as a statement of our beliefs and not as a political tool to selectively target specific countries; the credibility of this legislation as a notice to the world of our beliefs is lost if is used as a means to selectively pressure other countries to support some other agenda.
    Like (59)
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    Why are we enforcing a ban on this type of violence (to be clear I am not advocating violence against LGBT) yet turn a blind eye and open arms to those individuals that use violence on our southern border against women and children?
    Like (28)
    Follow
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    As a member of the community I already face enough criticism from my fellow citizens and family members. I don’t need it from foreign nationals also.
    Like (39)
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    Do we need to import prejudice? If people who want to enter the US have already committed violent acts based on discrimination or prejudice why would we even want to think of allowing them into our country. We have enough citizens right here in the US that are perfectly able and willing gladly to fill that slot. Unfortunately we can’t get rid of them.
    Like (31)
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    Any individual who is complicit in violence against any group of people should not be allowed in the US.
    Like (23)
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    We already have enough hate here. We don't need any more.
    Like (22)
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    People who are violent against children, elders, animals and those who try to justify violence against any fringe group must not be allowed into the US. Violence is Violence. There is NO justification for it The President has encouraged violence- He should be deported
    Like (20)
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    Shouldn’t our policy deny U. S. Entry to foreign nationals complicit against ANY American individual, equally? Why would select the LGBTI as being more important than any other form of hatred? Isn’t hatred toward religion or race equal to the hatred towards the LGBTI community. Why is our government creating laws that segregate our society? Please stop it. Please get back to creating laws that protect all American citizens. When discussing border security we can not focus on the protection of individual group of our population.
    Like (20)
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    Should the US deny entry against foreign nationals who are complicit to violence? Yes. You can stop there. Whatever the reason. Bigotry, Abuse, whatever. Complicit to Violence = Deny Entry. Also: 🏳️‍🌈 is LGBTQIA+ if your going to do the acronyms get it right.
    Like (19)
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    This should be true for any citizen not just LGBTQ whatever. Human rights apply to all.
    Like (14)
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    Yes, but not for only for LGBT violence, but any violence. Why should “violence” be isolated to one group of people?
    Like (12)
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    I am concerned about the vague terms and the fact that many of the legislators don’t even know what the “I” in LGBQTI stands for. Before we start banning people shouldn’t we be clear on what exactly the criteria is?
    Like (12)
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    Acceptance and tolerance of BEHAVIORS that lead to the breakdown of individuals, the family and society in general, should be condemned not condoned. LGBTQI people need serious help and their sinful behaviors should be treated like any sinful behavior.
    Like (10)
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    We have a “president“ who does not have a problem committing and encouraging the trampling of human rights daily! How about a bill to deport HIM, preferably to his favorite sh*thole country!
    Like (9)
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    I agree that it would appear that there is more than enough hate here already...no need to import more!!!
    Like (9)
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    LGBTQ tights are human rights. Even those of us who are Christian are not meant to judge others by Levitical proclamation. Our job as Americans is to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without judgement as long as others rights are not trampled.
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    EVERYONE who has committed violence agains ANYONE, should NOT be able to come in to USA. WHY would we need MORE violent people here?!
    Like (8)
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    Is the alphabet soup community a special protected class above the rest of us? Deny entry to foreign nationals that are a threat to any American.
    Like (7)
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    Yes we should deny entry to foreign nationals who participate in hate related violence against LGBTQ groups or individuals. In addition, we need to be tougher on those who reside in the US (citizen and non-citizen) who also participate in this type of violence that is hate motivated.
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    How about violence against anyone .....gays are not special and don’t need special laws ...
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