Acting intelligence head Richard Grenell’s push to decriminalize homosexuality has yielded little

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02/20/2020

Donald Trump became the first president to name an openly gay person to a Cabinet-level position Wednesday when he announced that Richard Grenell would serve as his acting director of national intelligence. Grenell is the architect of a U.S.-led effort to decriminalize homosexuality in the 68 countries where it is still illegal. In two others, Iraq and Egypt, homosexuality is de facto illegal. Since Grenell’s efforts were announced almost a year ago exactly, just one country has decriminalized homosexuality: Botswana, where the high court overturned the ban in June as part of a legal challenge that started long before 2019, according to Ryan Thoreson, an LGBTQ researcher for Human Rights Watch. The Human Rights Campaign, a U.S.-based LGBTQ rights organization, said it has seen “no meaningful efforts by this administration to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.”

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