HISTORIC: Sec. John Kerry Issues Formal Apology To LGBT State Department Staffers For Past Discrimination

Politico reports:

Secretary of State John Kerry is formally apologizing to gay, lesbian and other employees of the State Department who faced past discrimination because of their sexual orientation. The apparently unprecedented apology, issued in a statement Monday, is the latest step that the Obama administration has taken to promote inclusion of the LGBT community in its ranks. It comes less than two weeks before the administration leaves office, making the way for President-elect Donald Trump’s team.

“In the past — as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades — the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place,” Kerry said in his statement. “These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today,” He added: “On behalf of the department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past.”

Here is the full statement as posted this afternoon to the State Department’s website:

Throughout my career, including as Secretary of State, I have stood strongly in support of the LGBTI community, recognizing that respect for human rights must include respect for all individuals. LGBTI employees serve as proud members of the State Department and valued colleagues dedicated to the service of our country. For the past several years, the Department has pressed for the families of LGBTI officers to have the same protections overseas as families of other officers. In 2015, to further promote LGBTI rights throughout the world, I appointed the first ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons.

In the past – as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades – the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today. On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community.

Kerry’s apology only highlights what may be in store for LGBT staffers at the State Department once Trump takes office. Tony Perkins and other evangelicals that have Trump’s ear have loudly called for him to “ferret out” all LGBT staffers and our allies.

  • Soon to be followed by incoming Hair Drumpf State Department edicts reinstating every last bit of that discrimination, exactly as you say, Joe.

  • Lars Littlefield

    This is something I most likely never see again in my life time. 🙁

  • Rex

    Progress is about to come to a screeching halt.

  • aar9n

    Hope they find some good employment for the next 8 years

    • Robincho

      I hear coal’s gonna be yuuge any minute now…

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Kelly Anne – ” The trump administration will never have to apologize to a special group of people. We represent everybody, including the fags “

    • AJ Drew

      If only she’d be that real, ever. Grr.

    • fastlanestranger

      And of course, by that, she meant the tobacco lobby. Why would anyone think anything otherwise?

    • Steverino

      “…since after all, we don’t throw them off of buildings like ISIS.”

      • Ninja0980

        Yup, we’ll pass laws that allow doctors, pharmacists and insurance companies to deny medical care to LGBT folks.
        Much more humane way of killing us.

        • Bomer

          Is that before or after the forced labor camps?

          • David Walker

            Before, assuming the Nazi timeline. All possessions were ultimately taken from the Jews (and others they didn’t like), but not enough committed suicide or were killed by the Brown or Black shirts, so off to the camps, both concentration and death.

          • Patriciashamilton

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj117d:
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash117HomeShopGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj117d:….,…..

        • Bad Tom

          Denying medical care to someone who is seriously ill is as much torture as waterboarding them is.

      • Bad Tom


      • JCF

        They really do think like this.

    • The_Wretched

      In his heart, Trump loves the gays. don’t go by the words he says or what his admin does

    • Bad Tom

      I read that as “We resent everybody, including the fags.”
      Yes. Yes, you do.
      That’s our President Elect’s Spox!

  • Paula

    The incoming admin is already preparing their list of people that will be receiving $1.00 for a salary.

  • Stogiebear

    Let’s see what Donnie’s fingers/mouth/heart have to say about this, him being the gays’ best friend and all . . .

    • CanuckDon

      His heart says yes but his mouth says no no no.

      • Bad Tom

        And it’s Trump’s fingers which will sign the laws and executive orders dismantling the protections for all his gay friends.
        Kellyanne never mentioned Trump’s fingers at all.

    • KarenAtFOH

      Little more will come from those places than what regularly issues forth from his anal sphincter.

  • Macbill

    … and the pendulum swings….

  • ByronK

    What was that bang?! Oh, never mind. It was just Michele Bachmann’s head.

    • Pat

      Couldn’t have been a very big bang, considering. 🙂

      • ByronK

        Very small and probably the first bang she’s had in years.

        • The_Wretched

          I’d like to see DNA tests proving marcus is bio father to their kids.

    • GayOldLady

      Good thing there was no brain inside.

  • Bill #drain that swamp?

    Trolling the trolls? or a true apology? Either way I’ll take it.

  • AtticusP

    Thanks, Secretary Kerry.

    Now let’s watch Tony PerKKKins and Bryan Fistula’s heads explode!

    Call it “collateral joy”.

    • Joe in PA

      That was my first thought…the sadz will be delicious.

  • OdieDenCO

    state department employees: when they come for your LGBT fellow workers, will you say anything?

    • Silver Badger

      They may be to afraid to do so. Republicans rule through fear.

      • Todd20036

        Indeed. They aren’t going just for LBGTs, but for our allies, too

      • OdieDenCO

        the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!

  • AJ Drew

    Hmm. Yes, thank you, Sec Kerry, but I fear I hear a warning as well. Well, thank you for that, also.

  • Pat

    Trump filled his cabinet nominations with rabid anti LGBT a-holes. I think Secretary Kerry is genuinely apologizing for past injustice, but he’s also giving everyone a head’s up on what could come.

  • Rex

    There won’t be one formal apology issued during the Trump administration, just in case anyone was going to hold their breath waiting for one.

  • hoooo-cakes…(say it with your education.) “HO-kakkkes.”

    gosh, i’m going to get burned for this. no one here will ever respect me again. it’s OK. i’m pretty sure i will live.

    white man’s “apology.” whiteman apologizing for the State. depart. men. t.

    also, i didn’t vote for HRC. but you knew that, if you’ve ever read any comment i’ve ever made. i also did not, in a scientific and math related way, cost her the election. but go on, blame me.

    words aren’t paying my rent. b/c my partner is still not… oh, let’s not even go there. bottom line, you fucking DC queers with trust funds? your little stunts don’t help me, Actual Queer in Flyoverland right now, me and 10,000 of my bros and sisters. i love how rich you are. are you going to give my neighbor a job, pay my rent, or feed the two black kids who live directly across from where i do? is your ketchup eating wife billionaire going to? nio? i know cuneiform. do you?

    i’m almost as tall as you are, and despite my age, which is close to yours, teenagers still want to fuck me. i would like to [bannable] you. please come and spend all of five fucking minutes in my reality. try starting at 2am. any day of the weak, beeyotch. i want to watch you cry and plead for your life. i can spell that in cuneiform also. seven ways to die, with and without the approval of the gods.

    • AJ Drew

      Venting is good, it truly is.

      What’s going on, CD?

    • maybe someone is trying to reply. it’s OK, don’t bother. i will take this one all on my own. Bill P is just a guy on the internet, but i am a real person and i stand by my comments; ask me for my mailing addy.

      • and now you stopped typing.

        this, folks, is called “gestapo.”

      • Dazzer

        Hug – cant type Busted keybard But Hugs

      • AJ Drew

        ok, what’s your mailing addy? I’ll chat if you want.

    • GayOldLady

      I understand your bitch at kerry. It’s easy for him to issue platitudes when he’s never lived any of our truths. As for you not voting for HRC. I don’t care. That’s over!

      • Tiger Quinn

        The hell it is. #notforgetting

        • AJ Drew

          Remember your recent post calling yourself an arse? Look again, there’s more going on here.

        • GayOldLady

          I’m not going to spend what’s left of my life brooding because ChicagoDyke didn’t vote for HRC. She likely voted for Stein. If she’s in a flyover, as she said, her vote was irrelevant. I live in a Red State and my vote was irrelevant and I knew it when I cast the vote, but I voted for HRC anyway.

          • AJ Drew

            More to the point, CD is clearly not ok but was posting to us, now CD is not.

          • GayOldLady

            She is distressed and struggling and many of her points are accurate. The worst thing about commenting on blogs is the impossibility associated with reaching out.

          • AJ Drew

            I agree completely. But I truly am concerned.

    • AJ Drew

      Hey, CD, still here?

    • AJ Drew
    • Tiger Quinn

      You are just fucking awful. Goodbye.

    • BobSF_94117

      Congratulations! You’ve absorbed virtually all the Trumpist garbage necessary to become a New Populist. Now, go on, make that last little “logical step” and become a Tea-Bagger!!!!!

    • AJ Drew

      I’m still here… where are you?

    • Bad Tom

      I’m sorry for whatever made you this upset.
      Unconditional love.

  • Halou

    This apology is more about forcing the Trump team to either accept it or take on the shame of retracting it in just two weeks time.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Sadly, Trump has no shame so….

      • Kim K’s Kute Koochy✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        lol I was thinking the same….
        I can only remember 1 apology from him in this entire ~2yr saga, and not even half-heartedly

  • Mike in Houston

    What are the odds that Trump rescinds the executive order against LGBT discrimination in government employment…

    • Halou


    • Kim K’s Kute Koochy✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      don’t think he cares but Mike Pence for sure will spearhead the efforts of crucifying the fags.

    • PattyJM

      Its certain. Within the first few days of taking the oath, most likely.

  • GayOldLady

    Yep, sounds like Kerry realizes the State Dept is getting ready to do a mass purging of LGBT people. So, what else is new? Just be warned tRump, we will fight you tooth and nail until we are given full equality in U.S. law. So don’t think you can walk over us and we’re not going to put nails in the bottom of your feet as you do it. In my lifetime this society has tried everything to get rid of us. Jail, mental institutions, socially isolating us, taking our children, denying us housing, firing us from jobs, refusing to give us jobs, our families deserted us, but We’re still here MF’ers and we’re not going away.

    • bzrd

      the golden turd says,” bring it on, there isn’t a lawsuit i don’t love to fight”

      • Silver Badger

        Lawsuit? We don’t need no stinking lawsuit to fight evil!

    • Silver Badger

      What has not killed us has made us strong.

  • TheManicMechanic

    In a few weeks, stand by for the apology for the apology.

    • Paula

      We are sorry for the previous apology that went against your personally held religious beliefs. As restitution, you can kill two homos.

  • Ninja0980

    Both parties are the same though right?

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      And Hillary was exactly like Trump, in fact worse…we know this because Bernie and Stein supporters told us so.

      • Lazycrockett

        Wall Street!!

    • Hey, emails and Benghazi, right? That’s SO much more serious than a party and its leader bent on plundering the entire nation whilst taking it back to the Reconstruction era.

  • Silver Badger

    It is clear that NALP and his cronies are gearing up for a gay pogrom. Fortunately, we’ve already survived one in my lifetime. We will do so again. (No one will ever convince me that AIDS was not Bush’s “final solution” to the gay “problem”.)

    • Ben in Oakland

      Evidence shows that the virus existed as far back as the fifties.

      • Silver Badger

        The virus used to create the HIV killer virus existed in the 50’s. After Bush I had it souped up, it was deliberately spread to take care of the gay “problem”.

  • boobert

    O/T: and the son in law is in ! This is NOT okay ! And the foolish trumpsters are rejoicing.

  • The Milkman

    And if it comes to pass that the christian supremacists convince Trump’s lackeys to “ferret out” and get rid of LGBT employees, then get ready for the biggest, angriest, best-funded, most-public lawsuit against the federal government in recent history. The only way to get federal employment protections fast-tracked is to fire a bunch of career diplomats a la Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn. They know their way around Washington, and they know where the bodies are buried. And without diplomacy to fill their days, they’ll have a lot of time to spend crafting a case.

    Oh honey, it’s already been broughten.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Nice symbolism I guess, but more than a little late. My question is not “if” Trump and his thugs reverse protections, but when. 8 years of progress is about to be dismantled, all because ‘murika had a temper tantrum and the regressive left demanded ideological purity. A pox on both their houses. I truly fear for my American cousins.

  • Lazycrockett


    This should scare the shit out you. Basically Drumpf is firing the guy who runs and updates our nuclear arsenal without replacing him.

    Well twitter and disquss are apparently not speaking today.


    • Clive Johnson

      There are any number of lines that the Trumpites could cross that would be so reckless that they would warrant the military taking him and his administration out of power.

    • ChrisMorley

      Whatever is supposed to scare the shit out of us isn’t showing here.
      Gizmodo’s headline and the key text

      ‘Trump Just Dismissed the People in Charge of Maintaining Our Nuclear Arsenal’ ‘According to an official within the Department of Energy, this past Friday, the President-elect’s team instructed the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to clean out their desks when Trump takes office on January 20th.’
      Normally these would go on transition, but not before their replacements were appointed.

  • andrew

    IMO John Kerry would have made an excellent POTUS, but about 62 million voters chose Bush and Kerry received about 59 million votes. It’s almost impossible to underestimate the wisdom of the American electorate.

    • Guess?

      Kerry was swiftboated by a bunch of fucking liars in the rightwing lamestream media.

      • He was also not a very good or inspiring candidate. It shows how many people hated Bush that he did as well as he did. Actually he won the electoral college but Ohio Republicans destroyed the ballots to do the recount (and went to jail for it). He should have been prez.

    • Kerry won Ohio and should have been sworn in. People went to jail over the shenanigans the Republicans pulled there in 2004. Can you imagine the screaming from the right if a Democrat who lost the popular vote got sworn in as POTUS?

  • Gaymurcan

    LGBT five (5) time winners at the US Supreme Court since 2003 don’t need to be “ferreted out,” rather they will let the lawsuits fly right out in the open! ~Long live the rainbow~

  • I’ll never understand why I click on the comment section at Politico…

  • BobSF_94117

    Who waters down these damned things and why?

  • SickOfItAll

    OK, that’s nice that he apologized to State Department staffers and applicants who experienced discrimination. Does he apologize also to those POTENTIAL applicants who decided upon a different career path due to State Department discrimination? Does he apologize also to the American people who (a) paid for the investigations to ferret out and get rid off State Department employees and applicants and (b) were denied the commendable service of all such LGBT applicants/employees/discouraged applicants?

  • Smartypants

    This feels very personal — in high school and college I lived abroad in Japan and Germany, dreaming of a career in the foreign service. But it was the 1980s and during the Reagan years being gay (even if you were out) was considered a security threat, so the choice was lie and risk getting fired, or find a different career. I found a different career. It’s been very rewarding, but I’ve always wondered how it could have been different.

  • boatboy_srq

    This is epic.

    Thank you, Secretary Kerry.

  • David Walker

    Since I’m old enough to remember that shit, and since it’s from President Obama’s administration, and although it comes awfully late, your apology is accepted. Now, if only we could get an actual apology from those who hate us… Actually, I don’t think I’ll live that long.

  • Friday

    That’s actually a big one. When I was a kid, in the 80’s, I had recruitment pitches from *all kinds* of intelligence agencies and other Federales, and I was in a pretty bad spot at home and stuff… It was before even DADT was considered an improvement: the ‘Lavender Scare’ policies were still on, and the military track for a lot of that had *military* criminal penalties going on. But I really did look that good, especially on paper. (My IQ score is high enough to know IQ tests are bullshit, let’s say. ) Even with disapproval of Reagan and all that, it could have been my ticket out of town, out of that situation, into something worth doing…. All I had to do was lie.

    And I was like, “Well, maybe I’ll lie *for* my country, but I’m not starting off by lying *to* my country,”

    I mean, show me an Uncle Sam that *had my back?* I’d have been *there.* There’d have been no *question* of *loyalty,* except it’s damn stupid to demand people perjure themselves to avoid feared ‘Blackmail.’ I’d have been *blackmail-proof* at least as far as Uncle Sam was concerned if they offered *protection* rather than a stockade.

  • I’m not sure why this didn’t happen in the 90s. Are any of the people who were fired or disgraced even still alive now? Better late that never. And a reminder for gay people what it means to have a Democratic administration. We’ll remember this during what comes next. Duck and cover.

    • Friday

      Christian Right ‘Culture War.’ They started all this against LGBT people *because* it should have happened in the 90’s.

  • Dom Saunders

    Too little, too late, Kerry. Retire so we never have to see your tired, long, camel-look-alike face again. I’m over him.

  • EqualityForAll

    When will we ever get our acronym right? What does the “I” of “LGBTI” stand for now?? Why not just throw the entire alphabet out there at this point?

    I remember the days fondly when “gay” was used to describe both men and women who were attracted to members of the same sex. And that was it. Transgenders and transsexuals were two totally different groups of people with their own challenges.

    • Friday

      Err, there is no one acronym. “I” is always for “Intersex,” try not to get too ‘bewildered.’

      • EqualityForAll

        So what happened to LGBTQ, which is the other letter in the acronym that I’ve seen of late? Is it Q or is it I now?

        • Friday

          Letters stand for things. Sometimes they’re added to each other. Sometimes more are specified or not. What is the malfunction with you here?

        • Friday

          Also, seriously, out of the whole planet, right now, do you *seriously* think this is what to have a snit about?

          • EqualityForAll

            “Snit”? You’re getting your panties all up in a bunch because I’m trying to figure out the always-changing acronym associated with a group I subscribe to? There’s something called a “life.” You need to get one.

            And what the fuck is “intersex” supposed to mean?

          • Friday

            Maybe you should find out before mocking.

  • KnownDonorDad

    But but but…Trump held up an upside-down rainbow flag! He’s totally an LGBT ally!

  • JCF

    Classy, until the very last minute.


    [And thank you too, Secretary Kerry!]

  • PattyJM

    Apologize to the people who were fired and blackballed during the late 40s and early 50s? Who had their whole lives upended because of other people’s ignorance?

    There are a few still alive but they are mostly in their 80s and 90s. A little late for apologies, don’t you think?