IDAHOBiT marked in US, around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Politicians and activists in the U.S. and around the world on Friday commemorated the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement shortly before the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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State Dept.: US not seeking trans people’s removal from UN documents

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The State Department on Oct. 24 denied a report that says the U.S. wants to remove transgender people from U.N. human rights documents.

The Guardian newspaper reported U.S. diplomats are “seeking to eliminate the word ‘gender’ from U.N. human rights documents, most often replacing it with ‘woman,’ apparently as part of the Trump administration’s campaign to define transgender people out of existence.”

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Former US LGBTI envoy confirmed as next ambassador to Nepal

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate on Thursday by a voice vote confirmed Randy Berry as the next U.S. ambassador to Nepal.

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry in 2015 named Berry, a career Foreign Service officer who is openly gay, as the first special U.S. envoy to promote LGBTI rights abroad.

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LGBT envoy to remain in State Department overhaul

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday indicated the special U.S. envoy for the human rights of LGBT and intersex people will remain in place under a State Department overhaul.

Tillerson in a letter to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the position “will be retained and continue to be organized under the” State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Tillerson wrote the position “will continue to be held by a deputy assistant secretary.”

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US names 1st global envoy for LGBT rights

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States named its first international envoy for gay rights Feb. 23, tasking a veteran diplomat with leading U.S. efforts to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals overseas.

Randy Berry, currently the consul general in the Netherlands, will promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, Secretary of State John Kerry said. A longtime foreign service officer, Berry has served at U.S. posts in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda and South Africa, and speaks Spanish and Arabic.

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