EXCLUSIVE — Republican members of Congress are pressing President Joe Biden’s State Department for answers after the Washington Examiner revealed the agency handed taxpayer dollars to a Colombian LGBT nonprofit group that engages in prostitution advocacy.
In September, the State Department awarded a $16,000 grant to Fundacion Sentiido, which is funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros and calls on Colombia’s government to expand “sex worker” rights in the crime-ridden country.
Now, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) and three GOP members are demanding Secretary of State Antony Blinken provide clarity on whether public funds were used to “further prostitution” and are concerned the grant “will contribute to the spread of sexual exploitation” in Colombia, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.
“Colombia has refused to outlaw prostitution, and its population suffers from high rates of sex trafficking and human rights abuses as a result,” Nehls, as well as Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, wrote in the Monday letter. “By funding Sentiido, we can only conclude that the Biden Administration condones these activities in Colombia and Latin America.”
Sentiido trains Colombians on “gender, sexual diversity, and social change,” its website says. The organization has advocated prostitution rights since at least 2014 in Colombia — where the practice is legal.
Sex trafficking and human rights abuses are rampant in Colombia, and the State Department concluded in a 2021 report that the country’s government has failed to “proactively investigate, prosecute, or convict cases of forced labor.”
In addition, armed organizations often force women and young girls into sexual “webcam modeling” and lure them into sexual activities through drugging, the report said. Colombian children are at high risk of being forced into prostitution and sexually exploited, the U.S. government has found.
On Nov. 3, on the heels of the State Department’s grant beginning its initial Oct. 15 disbursement, Sentiido hosted a webinar featuring three prostitute speakers that was called “Stand in my corner: trans-feminism and sex worker rights activism.” The organization also published a September 2020 article blasting the idea of further industry regulation and has claimed “webcam sex work” protects prostitutes from “economic exploitation.”
“It’s unacceptable that U.S. tax dollars are funding nonprofits engaged in prostitution advocacy and radical gender indoctrination on children,” Nehls told the Washington Examiner. “It comes as no surprise that the Biden Administration approved this funding to be sent to an organization in a country that does not share our same American values.”
A spokesperson for the State Department previously told the Washington Examiner its Sentiido grant was “in support of American values,” noting that “U.S. citizens benefit from a world that is safer and more prosperous for all.”
Throughout 2020, Sentiido promoted a variety of COVID-19 “emergency funds” that funneled resources to prostitutes and related prostitution union networks, records show. One such fund was by the Mexican Alliance of Sex Workers, which gives money to “homeless trans sex workers,” according to its Facebook account.
Nehls and the lawmakers are asking Blinken to “elaborate” on how the agency is furthering its mission by funding Sentiido. This mission includes representing “America’s foreign policy abroad” and advancing “the interests and security of the American people,” said the Republicans.
The lawmakers also want to know what the State Department has done to ensure taxpayer funds have not been used to “promote prostitution.”
“Americans should not have to fear that their hard-earned tax dollars will be funneled to far-left, radical groups like Fundacion Sentiido that promote prostitution and further sex trafficking abroad,” said the Republicans in their letter.
“We must rein in wasteful and harmful government spending, especially to countries who clearly do not share our American values, and we ask the Department of State to do the same,” the letter continued.