John Kerry issues historic apology for LGBT discrimination
US Secretary of State John Kerry is apologising for historic discrimination.
America’s most powerful diplomat has issued a formal apology for discrimination “on the basis of perceived sexual orientation.”
The apology applies to US diplomats who gave experienced prejudice and discrimination over the years.
Kerry has issued a statement saying that discrimination against LGBT State Department workers has gone on since the 1940s.
In a strongly worded statement, he says denying some people jobs and forcing diplomats out of the foreign service was “wrong then” and “wrong today.”
Secretary Kerry said: “These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today,” Kerry said.
“On behalf of the Department, I apologise to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community.”
Last summer Congress debated whether government contractors should be allowed to consider gender identity and sexual orientation in hiring processes.
It had been the case that it could be a reason to not hire somebody.
President Obama eventually issued an executive order barring private contractors that take government contracts from considering sexual orientation or gender identity in their hiring practices.
Republican lawmakers opposed the order, saying it would harm on the “religious liberty” of federal contractors.
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It’s not the first time Secretary Kerry has spoken out for LGBT rights.
He said: “From Uganda to Russia to Iran, LGBT communities face discriminatory laws and practices that attack dignity, undermine safety, and violate human rights.
“And we each have a responsibility to push back against a global trend of rising violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.
“Maybe all the success we’ve had here, we sort of felt, oh, gosh, it’s got to be happening everywhere else.
“But it hasn’t been. It’ll come. It’s going to take a while, and it’s going to take courage and patience, stamina in order to continue the fight.”