Republican New York Congressman George Santos has introduced a bill that would ban U.S. foreign aid to countries that criminalize LGBTQ people and women.
“Discrimination against both women and the LGBTQ community is unacceptable,” said Santos in a March 24 press release that announced the introduction of Equality and Fiscal Accountability Protection Act of 2023. “My bill will send a clear message that the United States will not offer federal aid to countries found to be violating the rights of individuals based on sexual orientation. We as a nation have a responsibility to stand up for the human rights of all people, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.”
The press release notes the bill would require the State Department “to assess a country’s human rights record before providing federal aid.”
“Countries found to be violating these rights would be ineligible to receive aid until they take steps to address the issues,” reads the press release. “If passed, the bill would make a significant step forward in the fight for LGBTQ and women’s rights and would send a strong message to countries that discrimination or criminalization will not be tolerated.”
Congress’ website currently notes “text has not been received for H.R. (House Resolution) 1736.”
Santos introduced the bill two days after the State Department released its annual human rights report that, among other things, details the prevalence of so-called conversion therapy and the treatment of intersex people around the world. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the same day hosted a meeting at the United Nations that focused on the integration of LGBTQ and intersex rights into the U.N. Security Council’s work.
The Biden-Harris administration in 2021 released a memorandum that committed the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad. U.S. Reps. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) and Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) last week introduced a bill that would require the country to promote LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad through its public policy.
The House Ethics Committee last month opened an investigation into Santos, who is openly gay, over allegations of financial and sexual misconduct. The embattled New York Republican has admitted to lying about his professional and educational background.