24 February 2015

New State Department Envoy for LGBT Rights

Normally, I am skeptical when the government--or, for that matter, any other organization--creates a new post with an impressive-sounding title.  But on the matter of which I'm going to write, I'll give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt.

On Monday, the Department of State named Randy Berry its first-ever envoy charged with advocating globally for the human rights of LGBT people.

In this new role, Berry is responsible for advancing government initiatives to reduce violence and discrimination against LGBT people around the world.  In that capacity, he will also be able to use the State Department's Global Equity Fund, created in 2011 to provide short- and long-term help in protecting and advancing the human rights of LGBT communities in countries where there are particularly severe laws and sanctions against them.

Even if I weren't trans, I would think (or, at least, I would like to think that I would think) that the new position makes sense, given that such issues as women's rights have been getting more attention and that, really, you can't talk about gender equality without LGBT equality.

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