A BILL to protect and promote the rights of the international LGBT community was introduced to US Congress last week.

The International Human Rights Defense Act would coordinate worldwide efforts to prevent discrimination through an envoy within the US Department of State.

Senator Edward Markey, who leads the campaign, believes the act commits the US to defend the human rights of the LGBT community.

“With the rights of the LGBT community under attack around the globe, we must stand hand-in-hand with them in the struggle for recognition and equality everywhere,” he said in a statement.

The legislation, if passed, would demand the Department of State to respond to discrimination against the global LGBT community as a foreign policy priority.

“The senator is proud of the level of support and the high level of attention to this especially within the State Department,” a spokesperson for Markey said.

LGBT rights, particularly the marriage equality movement, has gained international momentum recently.

In 2013, India re-criminalised homosexuality, while being openly gay is can lead to imprisonment in Nigeria, Uganda, and Gambia.

“We must do what we can as a nation to enforce the precept that all human beings… are entitled to a basic set of human rights which include the right to love who they choose without fear of punishment or death. LGBT rights are human rights,” the bill’s co-sponsor, Representative Alan Lowenthal, said in the statement.

In his 2015 State of the Union address, US President Barak Obama condemned “the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender”.

“We do these things not only because they are the right thing to do, but because ultimately they will make us safer,” he said.

In light of Obama’s address, Markey said the US has now made a “commitment to the world”.

The similar bill was introduced by Markey in 2014 but never reached a vote.

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