Veteran diplomat Randy Berry has been appointed as the first Special Envoy for the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) persons by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In this newly created role Berry will lead efforts by the U.S. government to defend the rights of LGBT people worldwide. Randy Berry is a veteran diplomat with the U.S. State Department who was previously the consul general to the Netherlands & has overseen the United States’ consulates in the Netherlands since 2012. Before that he was stationed in New Zealand & Nepal & has also served in anti gay Uganda & Egypt. Currently in more than 75 countries having same gender relations is still illegal & in several of those countries LGBT people can be put to death. Along with the establishment of the envoy position the International Human Rights Defense Act would direct the State Department to make international LGBT rights a foreign policy priority & would require the State Department to devise a strategy to promote LGBT rights internationally. By this appointment President Obama & Secretary Kerry have made history sending a clear message that the human rights of our LGBT community globally is a priority of the United States government. Of course we would still like to see ENDA pass as a priority in this country to insure workplace protections for our LGBT community.
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