Nikki Haley resigns as US ambassador to UN

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley resigned on Tuesday.

President Trump told reporters at the White House that Haley will be “leaving” at the end of the year.

Haley was the governor of South Carolina when then-President-elect Trump announced her nomination less than a month after the 2016 presidential election. Haley, who was critical of Trump during the campaign, endorsed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) before her state’s Republican primary.

Haley has publicly condemned the ongoing crackdown against gay and bisexual men in Chechnya.

Haley has also publicly acknowledged Pride month.

She met with Caitlyn Jenner in July 2017 to discuss global LGBTI rights issue. The U.S., along with France and Brazil, a few months later successfully blocked efforts to remove a reference to discrimination that includes sexual orientation from an Olympics resolution at the U.N.

“The Olympics is an event that should focus on what brings us together – friendly competition by the world’s best athletes – not what makes us different,” Haley told the Washington Blade in a statement. “No athlete should face discrimination of any kind when representing their country in the games.”

Haley’s tenure coincided with mounting criticism over the Trump administration’s foreign policy.

LGBTI rights advocates were among those who sharply criticized the U.S. over its decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council in June.

The U.S. in September 2017 voted against a council resolution that included a provision condemning the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts. An American official told the Blade the U.S. backed language in the resolution “against the discriminatory use of the death penalty based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, while also requesting changes to make the larger resolution in accordance with U.S. law” that says the death penalty is legal.

Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo on Tuesday in a tweet said Haley “was a total class act as U.N. ambassador” and “always had an open door for Log Cabin Republicans.”

“[She] never hesitated to stand up for LGBT human rights during her tenure,” he said.

The Trump administration has not said who it will nominate to succeed Haley.

The Washington Blade will update this story.

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