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Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry introduces Randy Berry as the first-ever special envoy for LGBT rights, Washington, Feb. 27, 2015 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

What Can Global LGBT Rights Envoys Achieve in the Age of Trump?

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

A year ago this month, efforts to use high-profile diplomacy in the service of global LGBT rights appeared to be gaining considerable momentum. At the United Nations, the Human Rights Council had selected Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand to serve as the first independent expert tracking violence and discrimination based on gender and sexual identity. And in Washington, Randy Berry was well into his second year as the State Department’s first special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.

To mark the completion of Berry’s first year in that position, the Human Rights Campaign praised him as “a game changer for LGBT rights internationally” and called on future U.S. administrations “to ensure that his position is firmly established for many years to come.” With Hillary Clinton heavily favored to win the presidency, many assumed that was exactly what would happen. ...

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