The State Department today appointed the first LGBT rights foreign envoy in US history.
Randy W Berry, who is gay, has been appointed to the senior role within the US State Department by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. He has previously served as Consul General in Amsterdam, and has also had postings for the State Department in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, South Africa, and Washington DC. John Kerry said: “Randy’s a leader, he’s a motivator. But most importantly for this effort, he’s got vision. Wherever he’s served — from Nepal to New Zealand, from Uganda to Bangladesh, from Egypt to South Africa, and most recently as consul general in Amsterdam — Randy has excelled.”
The HRC applauds:
“At a moment when many LGBT people around the world are facing persecution and daily violence, this unprecedented appointment shows a historic commitment to the principle that LGBT rights are human rights,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “President Obama and Secretary Kerry have shown tremendous leadership in championing the rights of LGBT people abroad. Now, working closely with this new envoy, we’ve got to work harder than ever to create new allies, push back on human rights violators, and support the brave leaders and organizations that fight for LGBT rights around the world.”
IGLHRC does the same:
“The appointment of Randy Berry as a special diplomatic envoy brings to a pinnacle the historic trend, first put in motion by the 2011 Presidential Memorandum, of integrating the rights of LGBT people into U.S. foreign policy. Having long advocated for this step forward, we at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission celebrate its arrival and congratulate Mr. Berry on his new role. The U.S. envoy can contribute to a new era in which the conscience of governments everywhere can be focused on the destabilizing impact of prejudice and abuse that inflicts suffering on millions worldwide. Human rights should be a priority for every government in both domestic and foreign policy.
Hate groups have already denounced the creation of the position as yet another example of the Obama administration imposing its homofascist agenda on foreign countries.