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ORAM calls on President Biden to Protect the Security of LGBTIQ Afghani Refugees

Afghanistan Press Release
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ORAM calls on President Biden to Protect the Security of LGBTIQ Afghani Refugees

Minneapolis, MN (September 9th, 2021): ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration and other prominent advocacy organizations, including The Council for Global Equality, Rainbow Railroad and Immigration Equality have submitted a letter urging the Biden Administration to expedite and ease the refugee and asylum process for LGBTIQ Afghans. ORAM and the other groups are also inviting individuals to sign the petition calling on the Biden Administration to take these actions.

The situation for LGBTIQ individuals in Afghanistan is alarming. Same-sex activity was already criminalized before the Taliban took control, but the new regime’s mandate to rule with Sharia law makes the fate of LGBTIQ Afghans even more precarious, subjecting them to the very real possibility of a death sentence. There are already alarming reports from LGBTIQ Afghans about their fear of living under Taliban rule, with many saying that they have gone into hiding. A Taliban judge recently decreed: “For homosexuals, there can only be two punishments: either stoning, or he must stand behind a wall that will fall down on him.” An exodus of LGBTIQ refugees has commenced and will likely expand.

ORAM and partner organizations are proposing a 10-point action plan to save lives - and to send a strong message that America’s leadership matters - and we must commit to human rights and to the safety and protection of vulnerable Afghan refugees. The ten-point plan includes, among other things, prioritizing the evacuation and resettlement of LGBTIQ refugees, expanding the fiscal year 2022 refugee cap of 125,000 refugees accepted into the U.S. and providing funding to support temporary housing, livelihoods, and security of LGBTIQ Afghan refugees in third countries.

"We are deeply concerned about the safety of LGBTIQ individuals in Afghanistan," said Steve Roth, ORAM’s Executive Director. "Afghanistan is not a safe place to be LGBTIQ and we have already heard reports of increased targeted attacks against LGBTIQ people by the Taliban. We implore the U.S. Administration and international community to stand with all vulnerable Afghans. We must work together to find a safe passage and a more secure life for those in our community”.

Time is of the essence and ORAM and its partners plan to deliver the petition to the White House to advocate for the LGBTIQ Afghan refugees whose safety is at risk. To learn more about the letter and how to sign the petition, please visit


About ORAM

Founded in 2008, ORAM is a pioneer in advocating for the safety and well-being of extremely vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees. Drawing upon our leadership experience and trailblazing work on sexual and gender minority refugees, we assist those facing extreme persecution and are in desperate need of help. We work closely with international and local organizations, respected academic institutions and communities to promote system-wide change through the sharing of information, capacity building and establishing sustainable futures for asylum seekers and refugees globally. Learn more about ORAM at and Facebook, Twitter + Instagram.

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