The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just The News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.
The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor announced the availability of $1.5 million in grant funding through the Global Equity Fund (GEF) for LGBTQI+ communities to advance goals that include empowering “local movements” and addressing “critical issues of justice” according to a funding opportunity notice posted at the end of December.
The department manages the GEF in partnership with other governments, businesses and foundations “dedicated to amplifying local LGBTQI+ voices and movements to catalyze positive change.”
Competition for the grants, the funding notice explains, is open to organizations submitting applications “for projects that have the goal to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) communities with the tools to (1) empower local movements and communities; (2) prevent, mitigate, and recover from violence, discrimination, stigma, and human rights abuses; (3) promote full social inclusion; or (4) address critical issues of justice.”
Projects awarded grants are expected “to be led by, or have strong support from and participation by, LGBTQI+ organizations and communities,” the department stipulates.
The GEF was formed under the Obama administration in 2011, and the Biden White House touted an increase in support for the fund in FY 2021 to $10 million annually.
Last June, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the GEF has disbursed $100 million since its inception.
The GEF’s Twitter account shows it recently cofunded an “OutProud4” project in which LGBTQI+ activists convened for a “#QueerWithoutBorders-themed forum” in November.
“The U.S. Department of State supports a wide range of strategic programs that incorporate concepts from diversity, inclusion, and representation to equity and accessibility,” a State Department spokesperson told Just The News. “LGBTQI+ persons across the globe deserve to live in societies free from targeted violence and discrimination. Our programs advance key U.S. values of diversity and the inclusion of LGBTQI+ communities as well as promote the acceptance of communities that are disproportionately affected by violence.”