As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March and International Women’s Day March 8, it is important to remind ourselves of the importance of building a world where everyone belongs and everyone’s rights are respected, no matter who they are or who they love. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) community around the world have been fighting for equality, for themselves and for others, for years. Living All Inclusive in Belau (LAIIB) has been leading the charge for LGBTQI+ human rights in Palau for nearly a decade. Often, they do this in the face of harassment and stigma. The U.S. Embassy is proud to have LAIIB as a partner to help build a safer, more inclusive society for all Palauans.
In many places around the world, being a member of the LGBTQI+ community is still very dangerous, even life threatening. It is up to all of us to come together to change that. In the first weeks of his administration, President Biden issued a Memorandum instructing all U.S. federal agencies working abroad to “ensure that U.S. diplomatic efforts and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.” The U.S. Embassy in Palau has taken that order to heart and will continue to find ways to support LGBTQI+ Palauans, including by celebrating important milestones such as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia on May 17, and LGBTQI+ Pride month in June.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to human rights and fundamental freedoms. In celebrating the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons worldwide, the United States re-affirms this shared value: Everyone deserves to live in dignity.