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LGBT Members Of Congress Object To TransPacific Partnership (TPP) With Countries Criminalizing LGBT People
Signing Members_Congress
Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), David Cicilline (D-RI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Mark Takano (D-CA)

A free-trade agreement being formulated by the Obama administration is receiving ever-increasing resistance from across the board. The TransPacific Partnershipp (TPP),  which is being negotiated privately until a finalized document has been agreed upon, has been leaked in segments.Drawing criticism from legislators, internet masses, and economists, the TPP has yet another inherent flaw.

The trade agreement would include Malaysia and Brunei, two countries that have imposed sharia law that criminalizes transgender people and homosexuality. Punishment in these countries can include death by stoning. For these reasons alone, it’s no surprise that labor unions and advocacy groups are questioning the standard by which countries are allowed to sign on to TPP. After these revelations, LGBT advocacy groups are joining the resistance, supported with the full backing of five openly LGBT members of congress.

Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), David Cicilline (D-RI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Mark Takano (D-CA) signed a letter sent to President Obama’s office, objecting to the inclusion of countries that blatantly violate basic human rights.

“In light of the decision to end trade preferences for Gambia, we write today to ask for clarification on the inclusion of Brunei and Malaysia in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations,” the letter reads. “These two countries are responsible for severe human rights abuses, including adopting penal codes permitting the imprisonment and physical harm of LGBT people. It seems inconsistent for the United States to expand trade privileges to these two countries while taking action against Gambia.”

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