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Trump administration to launch worldwide effort to decriminalize homosexuality, reports say

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grennell will reportedly lead the effort. Grennell is the highest-profile openly gay man in Trump's administration.
Credit: AP
FILE -- In this Tuesday, May 8, 2018 the U.S. Embassador in Germany, Richard Allen Grenell during his akkreditation by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Bellevue palace in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

The Trump administration is planning to launch a global effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality, according to a report from NBC News

U.S. officials told NBC News that the push to decriminalize homosexuality would kick off Tuesday evening in Berlin, Germany. U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell will lead the effort. Grenell is the highest-profile openly gay person in Trump's administration. He will be flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner. 

The plan is reportedly aimed at denouncing Iran over its human rights records, according to NBC. It will push for decriminalization in countries that still outlaw homosexuality. The targeted countries are mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. 

“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,” a U.S. official told NBC News. 

Officals also told NBC that the plan, while still being hashed out, will likely include working with countries that have already decriminalized homosexuality and organizations like the United Nations, European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 

According to a 2017 "State Sponsored Homophobia" report from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 72 countries still criminalize homosexuality. In eight of these countries, the punishment for homosexuality is death.