One year ago this week, the Trump administration launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.
The campaign was to be led by Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany who this week became the nation’s first openly gay cabinet secretary.
But NBC News reported Thursday that the campaign hasn’t accomplished much. In fact, one expert said the Trump administration isn’t even trying.
Currently, there are 68 countries where homosexuality is illegal. Only one, Botswana, has decriminalized homosexuality in the last year, through a court ruling in a case that began long before 2019.
Charlotte Clymer, a spokeswoman for the Human Rights Campaign, said there is no evidence of “meaningful efforts by this administration to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.”
“It would be different if they were trying, but it’s not even clear they are doing anything meaningful at all,” Clymer said. “It is yet another case of the Trump-Pence White House making promises to LGBTQ people, even while they enable discrimination and violence against us at home and abroad.”
In December, Grenell hosted a U.N. breakout session on decriminalizing homosexuality, but one LGBTQ activist cast doubt on its effectiveness.
“What came out of that, I don’t know, and who actually went there, I don’t know, because I have been asking around afterwards to LGBTI activists around Europe, and they all said, ‘We have not been invited,'” said Remy Bonny, a political scientist studying LGBTQ rights in eastern and Central Europe.
Of course, it also doesn’t help that Grenell has been busy propping up far-right European political parties that are hostile to LGBTQ people, helping to fuel the phenomenon known as “pink-washing.”