Washington, DC - The United States and Montenegro recognize that supporting and promoting the human rights of all persons is the responsibility of every government and that the human rights of LGBTI persons are not different or separate from the human rights of any other persons. Defending the human rights of LGBTI persons is part of our shared human rights policies and of our respective foreign policies.

To build on this shared commitment and partnership, we are pleased today to announce the Government of Montenegro as the newest partner of the Global Equality Fund. Launched in December 2011, the Global Equality Fund has provided assistance in support of civil society-led efforts to advance and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons around the world. The Fund brings together the resources and expertise of governments, corporations, foundations, and civil society organizations with the shared objective of creating an environment in which LGBTI persons can live free from intimidation, discrimination, or violence.

Montenegro joins the United States and other like-minded partners – including the governments of Argentina, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Uruguay as well as the Arcus Foundation, the John D. Evans Foundation, FRI: the Norwegian LGBT Organization, the M•A•C AIDS Fund, Deloitte LLP, the Royal Bank of Canada, Hilton Worldwide, Bloomberg L.P., the Human Rights Campaign and Out Leadership – to advance freedom, equality, and dignity for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.