Complying with a 2021 directive from President Joe Biden, the U.S. State Department has released its third annual whole of government “progress report” on advancing what it calls the “human rights” of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons around the world.

The U.S. Department of State-led initiative details how various federal agencies are participating in the sweeping American foreign policy effort, which now includes allowing refugees and asylum seekers to select their gender on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms “without the need to provide supporting documentation or to match the gender listed on their identity document.”

The State Department report says it considers this and dozens of other LGBTQI+ “human rights” initiatives detailed in the report, including U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funding of a “Transformation Salon” in India “to enhance the career and entrepreneurial opportunities for the transgender community” in that country, activities that “advance our national security.”

According to the latest report, U.S. government agencies are pouring tens of millions of dollars into dozens of projects and grants to organizations worldwide that support gender ideology, transgenderism, and “combat so called ‘conversion therapy’ practices,” among other specified LGBTQI+ “human rights” priorities.

“Promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons is a U.S. foreign policy priority,” read the State Department statement that accompanied the report.

The report opens a window into how the U.S. government, under the Biden administration, is specifically leveraging foreign aid programs and its influence with international financial institutions and the United Nations to pressure countries into embracing and disseminating its favored LGBTQI+ policies.

The Department of State alone, the report notes, over the last five years has authorized more than $3.2 million in small grants to “116 LGBTQI+ organizations in 73 countries.” The report indicates that USAID, meanwhile, has dedicated “more than $7 million to support activities at USAID missions that integrate LGBTQI+ equities” and “leveraged more than $11 million from private philanthropy to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.”

As part of the report the Peace Corps, for its part, pointed to its celebration of “Pride events at headquarters and posts” and commitment to “fostering opportunities among the LGBTQI+ community to serve abroad.”

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), meanwhile, touted that in fiscal year 2023 it served 799,000 “men who have sex with men (MSM)” and “more than 85,000 transgender persons in more than 50 countries.”

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Related efforts cited in the report include new U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and agreement rules that “include protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.” The State Department also indicated it is developing similar rules related to department-funded foreign assistance.

Advancing LGBTQI+ ‘human rights’ includes banning ‘conversion therapy’

Among the efforts highlighted in the report is the administration’s commitment to “prevent conversion therapy practices (CTP) globally.”

Although the report does not define the term, CTP is understood as any therapy directed toward changing “an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity” including “behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

The report indicates that the U.S. State Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and USAID have shared “current science-based knowledge with medical professionals and public officials regarding the harms of CTP.”

However, as previously reported by the National Catholic Register and CNA, the scientific basis for the sweeping attacks against CTP is sharply disputed. Referencing the work of Father Paul Sulllins, for example, Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, contends that “the claim that sexual orientation change therapy is always harmful is not supported by the available evidence.”