During U.S. Trade Ambassador’s Trip to Kenya, Advocates Urge Action on LGBTQI+ Rights

Jessica Bassett (Health GAP): +1 929 866 3929|

During pride month, a coalition of leading LGBTQI+, labor, trade, HIV, and human rights groups met with United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai to discuss the so-called Family Protection Bill – a copycat of the draconian new anti-LGBTQI+ law in Uganda that extremists are pushing in Kenya’s Parliament. This legislation would impose harsh criminal penalties on anyone identifying as LGBTQI+ or promoting LGBTQI+ healthcare and human rights.+

Today, the advocates wrote to Tai to urge her to use her trip to Nairobi this week to advocate for the lives of queer Kenyans. Representatives from American Jewish World Service, AVAC, Health GAP, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Pride at Work, Public Citizen, and Treatment Action Group (TAG) reiterated their call for the Biden administration to pause trade negotiations with Kenya for the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP) unless and until Kenyan President William Ruto commits to vetoing the anti-LGBTQI+ legislation.

The coalition also released a new video raising awareness of the plight of queer Kenyans and what Americans can do to help. In it, Keturah Johnson, International Vice President of the Association of Flight Attendants – Communications Workers of America (AFA-CWA), explains the leverage that the Biden administration has with the U.S.-Kenya STIP.

“LGBTQI+ Kenyans are under attack. It’s unacceptable for trade negotiations to continue like business as usual. The Biden administration must use its power to protect the LGBTQI+ community and advance human rights,” said Alyson Bancroft, Associate Director of U.S. Policy & Advocacy at Health GAP. “Ambassador Tai must use this visit to Kenya and her meetings with President Ruto to secure commitments that any legislation further criminalizing LGBTQI+ people will be vetoed.”

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