This Pride Month, HIAS Remains Steadfast in its Commitment to Serving LGBTQ Refugees

As a Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees, asylum seekers, and other forcibly displaced people in 23 countries around the world, HIAS works with many LGBTQ people who face persecution simply for being who they are. As we do each year during Pride Month, we celebrate the identities of our clients, recognize the critical importance of providing protections for LGBTQ forcibly displaced people, and renew our commitment to serve these refugees in all of the places where we work.

LGBTQ people across the globe face discrimination and violence, and same-sex relations are criminalized in nearly 70 countries, leading many to flee to other countries — where there is no guarantee that they will find protection. HIAS prioritizes the needs of our LGBTQ clients and provides a variety of services, including psychosocial support, economic inclusion, and interventions to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV).

As an organization that works to protect the most vulnerable refugees, we would be remiss this Pride Month if we did not mention our dire concerns about disturbing trends in a number of countries, including the United States, which has seen a recent proliferation of policies and legislation targeting LGBTQ people at all levels of government — in particular, measures targeting trans people. Policies that make our states and communities less safe for trans people will also harm other LGBTQ refugees, some of whom have already escaped horrific persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

HIAS has worked with refugees in the United States for more than 120 years and is committed to a vision of this country that is welcoming and safe for all. We know that vision cannot be realized until there are policies in place that protect vulnerable people here. As these threats continue to escalate, all of us at HIAS remain steadfast in our commitment to serving LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. and around the world.


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