Sending Office: Honorable Dina Titus
Sent By:
Erica.Riordan@mail.house.gov

Co-Sign Letter to USAID Urging Continued Funding of LGBTI Portfolio

Deadline: COB FRIDAY, April 5th, 2019

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to join us in sending a letter to USAID expressing our strong interest in the continued funding of the USAID LGBTI Portfolio and requesting a spending plan for USAID’s LGBTI funds.

In FY19, the Senate Report called for $400,000 for operating expenses and $3.5 million in development assistance funds for USAID’s Human Rights Division LGBTI Portfolio and directed USAID to continue to allocate funding for its LGBTI Portfolio. Unfortunately,
the FY19 Omnibus Appropriations bill did not include this directive. However, importantly, the Statement of Managers, which serves as USAID’s guidance for making funding allocations, includes language that says they must comply with the funding instructions
in both the Senate and House Reports.

That said, without explicit language for the LGBTI funding directive in the FY19 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, there appears to be some discretion as to whether USAID will internally decide to fund the LGBTI portfolio. It is therefore necessary that we reaffirm
Congressional intent and make clear our continued interest in USAID’s funding of its LGBTI programs.

Please join us in a letter to USAID making clear our interest in their LGBTI work and ensuring that USAID allocate the necessary funding for their LGBTI programs.

E-mail Erica.Riordan@mail.house.gov to sign on.

Sincerely,

Dina Titus
Member of Congress


April xx, 2019

The Honorable Michael Pompeo
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

The Honorable Mark Green
Administrator
U.S. Agency for International Development
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20523

Dear Secretary Pompeo and Administrator Green,

We are writing in support of the funding included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (P.L. 116-6) for State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs to protect and defend the human rights of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people.

LGBTI people continue to face violence and discrimination around the world, as documented by the State Department in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Brunei plans to soon implement laws to punish consensual same-sex relations with torture
or death by stoning. LGBT people in Chechnya have been rounded up, tortured in secret facilities, and killed over the past two years. In Indonesia, officials have carried out public humiliation and punishment of gay men; and in Jamaica, lesbian women have
been subjected to so-called “corrective rape.”

The United States has been a leader in protecting the human rights of LGBTI people, and we urge your Departments to continue their practice of supporting programs that advance the rule of law and democracy in places where LGBTI communities face attacks.
We were pleased that the FY19 Senate Report called for $400,000 for operating expenses and $3.5 million in development assistance funds for USAID’s Human Rights Division LGBTI Portfolio. It also included the following language:

Discrimination Against LGBTI Persons.—The Committee directs the Department of State to include in its annual country human rights reports descriptions of official government discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
and intersex [LGBTI] persons…and USAID to continue to allocate funding for…the LGBTI Portfolio within USAID’s Human Rights Division.

Unfortunately, the FY19 Omnibus Appropriations bill did not include this directive, but, importantly, the

Statement of Managers
says:

“In implementing this conference agreement, Federal departments, agencies, commissions, and other entities are directed to comply with the directives, reporting requirements, and instructions contained in H.
Rept. 115-829 (House report)
 accompanying H.R. 6385 (House bill) and S. Rept. 115-282 (Senate report) accompanying S. 3108 (Senate bill) as though
stated in this joint explanatory statement, unless specifically directed to the contrary.”

Administrator Green, in your 2018 Pride Month statement, you said “LGBTI people around the world are far too often excluded, marginalized, and subjected to violence and discrimination. These realities can trap LGBTI people in a cycle of poverty and undermine
development efforts. Inclusion remains one of USAID’s core values. To carry out our mission, our programs must reach out to the most-marginalized and vulnerable members of society, and as an Agency we must continue to draw on the skills and contributions of
all people.”

We would like to make clear our continued, strong interest in funding for the LGBTI Portfolio at USAID. To that end, we also request that USAID send us a spending plan for its LGBTI funds. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward
to working with you to continue to advance the human rights of LGBTI people around the world.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

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