(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and 52 House colleagues in demanding an explanation of the Trump Administration's decision to recall Daniel Foote, U.S. Ambassador to Zambia. 

Amb. Foote was recalled after speaking out in opposition to a 15-year prison sentence for a same-sex couple in Zambia and the Lungu government’s anti-LGBTQ policies. He was consequently targeted by Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s government in retaliation.  

“Our Ambassadors deserve to know we have their back as they spread American values of equality and fairness across the world. The decision to recall Ambassador Foote for doing his duty goes against our values, and sends the wrong message to anti-LGBTQ governments everywhere,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “We remain committed to supporting LGBTQ people across the world, and call on the Trump Administration to explain this shortsighted decision.”

Millions of people still live in countries where they can be fined, imprisoned, or even executed for who they are and who they choose to love. Official State Department policy opposes the criminalization of LGBTQ relationships.

The letter to President Trump specifically requests details regarding any intervention by President Trump, Vice President Pence, or Secretary Pompeo to support Ambassador Foote, the impact Amb. Foote’s withdrawal has on the Administration’s support for decriminalizing same-sex relations internationally, and requests the State Department send a message to all regional ambassadors clarifying that U.S. policy will continue to support the fair treatment and full equality of LGBTQ people.

Read the text of the letter here.