US: Members of congress object to free-trade deal with countries criminalizing LGBT people

Five out LGBT members of Congress objected to the inclusion of two countries with anti-LGBT laws that include punishment of death by stoning, in a free trade deal that the Obama administration is currently seeking to fast-track it for adoption.

A letter sent to the president, the members asked why Malaysia and Brunei are part of a trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which also includes several other nations in Asia and Latin America.

Labor unions and other advocacy groups have long voiced concern that TPP could set too low a bar for signatories, but the pact became a serious concern for LGBT-rights groups last spring after the sultan of Brunei imposed a version of sharia law with death penalty for homosexuality along with other sexual offenses. Read More