In the face of constant international political turmoil and struggles for LGBT people who come to America in search of safety, the federal government is investing $250,000 in the first-ever resource center for LGBT refugees who face persecution in their home countries.
The Department of Health and Human Services made the announcement yesterday that they’ll partner with the Heartland Alliance of Chicago to create the center, which is partially the result of Barack Obama’s outspoken commitment to eliminating violence and discrimination on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. From the Advocate:
“The current resettlement network has limited understanding of the LGBT community,” said ORR Director Eskinder Negash in a statement. “No information exists in the context of available resource materials specifically for LGBT refugees. The need for these services is critical to ensure their successful resettlement in the U.S.”
I’m incredibly happy to hear about this. Though it’s been tricky for the U.S. to figure out its place in the debates over LGBT immigration and laws relating to international same-sex relationships, this is truly a step in the right direction. This is quite good and quite necessary.