Saturday, May 18, 2024

US gets special envoy for LGBTQ rights as White House marks Pride Month

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In a first, the White House has made space for a special envoy to oversee and advance the rights of the LGBTQ community in the United States as the nation is all set to mark Pride Month.

President Joe Biden named Jessica Stern as a special envoy on Friday who will now take on the State Department role which will be “critical to ensuring that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights” of LGBTQ people across the globe, the White House said in a statement.

Stern, who has been assigned a diplomacy role and will make space for the representation of the queer community, is the executive director of OutRight Action International, reported Bloomberg.

The White House said Stern has supported the legal registration of LGBTIQ organizations globally, helped secure the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, expanded the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity, and co-founded the UN LGBTI Core Group.

“She has provided expert opinions to governments globally, regional human rights institutions, and UN mechanisms, including UN Women where she serves as a member of multiple leadership bodies,” the White House said in a statement.

Stern has also played a role when India marked a watershed moment when her writing was cited by the Indian Supreme Court in its seminal judgment decriminalizing same-sex relations and been featured in The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (2019).

Stern will play a vital role in leading implementation of the presidential memorandum on advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.

The White house underlined that Stern will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organisations, corporations and international organisations to uphold dignity and equality for all at a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world.

The US president is expected to sign into law legislation designating the site of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting the “National Pulse Memorial,” an informal distinction that doesn’t make the site part of the National Parks System or require federal funding.

In one of the worst mass killings in US history on June 12, 2016, a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando killed 49 people and wounded 53.

The president and first lady Jill Biden will meet with survivors of the shooting, family members of the victims and lawmakers from Florida’s congressional delegation.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is also the first openly gay US Cabinet secretary, will open the event, and Biden will tout the steps his administration has taken to support the LGBTQ community.US gets special envoy for LGBTQ rights as White House marks Pride Month


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