Author Topic: Kerry: 'I'm Working Hard to ... Have Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Ambassadors'  (Read 687 times)

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Kerry: 'I'm Working Hard to ... Have Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Ambassadors'


Jeryl Bier

June 23, 2014 7:31 AM





With much of the Obama administration's foreign policy in tatters, John Kerry is clear on at least one goal he hopes to achieve by the end of his time as secretary of state: having lesbian, bisexual, and transgender ambassadors representing the United States.  In remarks to a GLIFAA (formerly Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies) Pride event in the Ben Franklin Room at the State Department, the secretary ran through a litany of accomplishments by the Obama administration that benefit the "LGBT/gay community." During his speech, Kerry said that, if confirmed, Ted Osius (nominated by President Obama for the post in Vietnam) would be the sixth openly gay U.S. ambassador currently in service:


So I am very proud of the progress that we are now making even in appointing LGBT ambassadors. I worked with the committee here at the State Department – with the D Committee, and I worked with the White House. And as a result, Ted Osius, sitting here, whom I’ve known a long time, and his family I know, will be the first openly LGBT officer nominated to serve as an ambassador in Asia. And on confirmation, he’s going to join five openly gay ambassadors who are now serving their country. I’m working hard to ensure that by the end of my tenure, we will have lesbian, bisexual, and transgender ambassadors in our ranks as well.

As he began his talk, Kerry recognized GLIFAA event moderator, Robyn McCutcheon, as the "first transgender Foreign Service officer to come out on the job":


Robyn is the first transgender Foreign Service officer to come out on the job, and believe me it wasn’t easy. I think everybody here knows that. When she was posted in Bucharest, she faced a lot of prejudice, she had to deal with completely inappropriate judgments that people were making, questions about her abilities, but she didn’t just persevere. In the end, she won the hearts of the Ambassador, her career Foreign Service colleagues, Civil Service colleagues, and the local staff, and she actually made Embassy Bucharest a model of acceptance. She even authored the first State Department report on transgender issues, and she didn’t just get through a difficult period, she was determined to turn it into a precedent-setting event, and as a result she made it a lot easier for those – or at least a little easier for those who follow.

The guest of honor at the event was Masha Gessen, whose Pink Triangle Campaign caused a stir in Russia after that country passed what Kerry termed "repressive anti-LGBT laws." Kerry went on later to note that:


...we now have hundreds of LGBT individuals in our bureaus at State, USAID, and at posts all around the world. Foreign Service Officers like Lucia Piazza – where is Lucia? Somewhere – is she here? Not here right now. But she’s here in Washington. Kerri Hannan in Buenos Aires. Michelle Schohn and her wife, Mary Glantz, in Tallinn.

After pointing out a number of LGBT diplomats currently in service in the state department, Kerry said  the "wonderful thing" is that no one looks at these individuals doing their jobs as "LGBT diplomats," but just "diplomats":


And the wonderful thing about this is nobody looks at these folks when they’re out there and says, “Wow. That’s a great LGBT diplomat.” They look at them and say, “Those are great diplomats.” And that’s exactly how we make progress in this fight.

Kerry went on to note the progress made in the fight against AIDS, the repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, the Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (which Kerry said would "never pass" Congress today,) and also changes in healthcare laws benefiting LGBT individuals. He particularly noted efforts to make sure the transgendered were fully covered, something he said was a right and not a privilege:


I am proud that we worked with GLIFAA and Pat Kennedy to press OPM [Office of Personnel Management] to remove its exclusionary language from health insurance plans so that employees who have undergone a gender transition can get the health care that they need. And that’s what it means to fight and that’s what it means to win in a battle that we all know matters enormously, not as a matter of making these things a privilege, but to make sure that they are, in fact, a right.

In spite of the progress noted by Kerry, some members of GLIFAA expressed concern about the direction of their cause, saying that in some ways, they are "feeling even more squeezed" as more countries prohibit issuing visas to same-sex partners.  One member said he had to cross off sixty-eight percent of the jobs on his bid list because of the visa issue and wanted to know what the State Department might do to address this obstacle. Kerry assured his listeners that "we are instructing embassies to inform governments locally that this is our policy and that they need to honor our policy. It’s that simple."

Another member zeroed in on problems faced by the transgendered around the world, saying that they "are denied documents that reflect the gender in which they live their daily lives" and that "too often they feel forced into sex work" because of their limited options. Kerry responded:


...We have instructed our posts to report on and perform outreach to transgender communities in countries. In addition, we have instructed our human rights and health officers to raise transgender issues in their host countries, and we have encouraged our public affairs officers to include the needs of transgender groups in their programming, so that we are showing that this is something that we’re going to engage in...

Kerry said that while the State Department hoped to handle "real trouble spots" on the transgendered issue with "reasonable conversation and an understanding," it may be necessary to "isolate those people for those policies" as the U.S. considers "what the options are with respect to actions that we’ll take."

Back in December 2011 in Geneva, Hillary Clinton gave a speech to the Human Rights Council where she said, "[G]ay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights." Kerry said that he was "proud to follow in the footsteps of an extraordinary advocate for the cause" and updated Clinton's words:


tanding here with [moderator Robyn McCutcheon], I want to build on that legacy, because LGBT rights are human rights, and human rights are LGBT rights.

The State Department is not by any means the only agency celebrating LGBT Pride Month as proclaimed by President Obama. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence posted a celebration message on its website and tweeted a number of items on Twitter, including a photo of Kristin Beck, a transgendered former Navy Seal who took part in intelligence community celebrations of LGBT Pride Month.





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Source URL: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/kerry-im-working-hard-have-lesbian-bisexual-and-transgender-ambassadors_795488.html
Constitutions are not designed for metaphysical or logical subtleties, for niceties of expression, for critical propriety, for elaborate shades of meaning, or for the exercise of philosophical acuteness or judicial research. They are instruments of a practical nature, founded on the common business of human life, adapted to common wants, designed for common use, and fitted for common understandings.

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Offline Chieftain

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yah....let's send some frickin' drag Queen to Saudi Arabia.....see how that works out......

 :smokin:

Offline alicewonders

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Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Offline Carling

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yah....let's send some frickin' drag Queen to Saudi Arabia.....see how that works out......

 :smokin:

We already had a gay ambassador in Libya.  His boss let him be raped by a bunch of Muslim animals, and left him to die while lying to his family afterward about what happened.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 08:51:22 PM by Carling »
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Offline 240B

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They really have their eye on the ball up there in D.C.
This certainly is a pressing global issue, by every world leader on Earth!!
 
Why, its all they think about with nothing else really going on right now. I just heard Putin say that this was on the top of his agenda.
 
D.C. is the land of inbred idiots and fools.
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

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we really do need a better roll-your-eyes smiley/emoticon here!

B. Obama is trying to put flamers in US embassies; the rest of the world is trying to put US embassies in the flames.

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Priorities.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

"In the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, and its vast patronage, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them." —Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

Offline evadR²

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yah....let's send some frickin' drag Queen to Saudi Arabia.....see how that works out......

 :smokin:

LOL.
What about the horse head population?
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.

Offline evadR²

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We already had a gay ambassador in Libya.  His boss let him be raped by a bunch of Muslim animals, and left him to die while lying to his family afterward about what happened.
Yeah, well, "What difference does it make?"
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.

Offline rangerrebew

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WHAT IS GOING ON HERE????  Is this administration being sexist against hermaphrodites, not including them in the government?   :tongue2: :silly:
Constitutions are not designed for metaphysical or logical subtleties, for niceties of expression, for critical propriety, for elaborate shades of meaning, or for the exercise of philosophical acuteness or judicial research. They are instruments of a practical nature, founded on the common business of human life, adapted to common wants, designed for common use, and fitted for common understandings.

Joseph Story

Offline Dexter

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Why should your gender or sexual status matter at all? He had no reason to mention the fact that these people were going to be bi/trans/whatever. Maybe you should hire ambassadors based on qualifications and need instead of trying to create another half-baked political controversy? He's obviously going out of his way to make this an issue, and to bait Republicans into seeming intolerant.
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
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Offline alicewonders

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Why should your gender or sexual status matter at all? He had no reason to mention the fact that these people were going to be bi/trans/whatever. Maybe you should hire ambassadors based on qualifications and need instead of trying to create another half-baked political controversy? He's obviously going out of his way to make this an issue, and to bait Republicans into seeming intolerant.

 :hands:
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Online Oceander

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Why should your gender or sexual status matter at all? He had no reason to mention the fact that these people were going to be bi/trans/whatever. Maybe you should hire ambassadors based on qualifications and need instead of trying to create another half-baked political controversy? He's obviously going out of his way to make this an issue, and to bait Republicans into seeming intolerant.

since ambassadors are political appointees it's fairly easy to remove them.  given that, in any senate hearings on an appointment republicans should stick to the merits and completely ignore the sex nonsense.  the next republican president can easily remove any objectionable ambassadors Obuttocks appoints.

Offline GourmetDan

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Why should your gender or sexual status matter at all?

There is no affirmative-action group the Demonrats won't embrace...

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

"The sole purpose of the Republican Party is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party." - GourmetDan

Offline Chieftain

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There is no affirmative-action group the Demonrats won't embrace...

And there is not an incompetent Dhimmie on the planet that Obama would not appoint an ambassador.  He sent one of the Kennedy spawn to be Ambassador to Japan when she does not speak a word of Japanese and the closest she's ever come to Japanese culture is a knock-off Hello Kitty backpack.....

 :smokin:

Offline Dexter

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And there is not an incompetent Dhimmie on the planet that Obama would not appoint an ambassador.  He sent one of the Kennedy spawn to be Ambassador to Japan when she does not speak a word of Japanese and the closest she's ever come to Japanese culture is a knock-off Hello Kitty backpack.....

 :smokin:

Well luckily for her Japan has a pretty impressive schooling system and most people end up being bilingual at least.
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
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Offline Chieftain

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Well luckily for her Japan has a pretty impressive schooling system and most people end up being bilingual at least.

This is not about her, it is about the formal representative of the United States to Japan.  Words mean things my friend and I think you should go Wiki the word "Ambassador" and study what that word really means.

Here endeth the lesson. 

Carry on.

Offline Dexter

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This is not about her, it is about the formal representative of the United States to Japan.  Words mean things my friend and I think you should go Wiki the word "Ambassador" and study what that word really means.

Here endeth the lesson. 

Carry on.

I know what an ambassador is, but thanks.
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Offline evadR²

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".. He had no reason to mention the fact that these people were going to be bi/trans/whatever."

The muzzies need to know who to target...after they become enraged by a video.
November 6, 2012, a day in infamy...the death of a republic as we know it.


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