50%(2)1 out of 2 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 15 - 17 out of 89 pages.
a U.S. LGBT rights promotion strategy must be flexible, not “one size fits all.” Mindful that effective interventions vary widely across the globe, Washington shoulddevelopcountry-specific strategiesin partnership with local gay community leaders.¶ Following the lead oflocal LGBT actorsand their allies on these issues is essential, since they are the most credible and persuasive voices within their own communities, and have the most finely tuned cultural and political understanding of the opportunities for LGBT rights promotion in their countries. An approachthat seeks to lift up and empower the local gay community also offers the long-term benefit of creating powerful, sustainable partners who will become less dependent on external assistance over time.¶ Supporting Our New Special Envoy¶ The United States has already taken significant steps to address anti-LGBT violence and discrimination worldwide, and there is a history of bipartisan support in Congress for diplomatic efforts to protect the international LGBT community.In 2010, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning anti-gay legislation and encouraging the Secretary of State to closely monitor anti-LGBT human rights abuses and to work to repeal egregious laws.¶ Mindful that effective interventions vary widely across the globe, Washington should developcountry-specific strategies in partnership with local gay community leaders.¶ Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have been quick to condemn hate-motivated attacks, and they have led multilateral efforts to codify
international recognition of rights for LGBT persons.With robust U.S. backing, last September the United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution calling for an end to violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development financially support foreign gay and trans rights organizations, andare also empowering diplomatic missions, using the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor’s small grants program, to support LGBT rights-promotion initiatives tailored to local contexts.¶ Certainly, Sec. Kerry’s February appointment of Randy Berry as the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons in February is a significant diplomatic achievement, and it is an important sign of the strong U.S. commitment to LGBT rights. The position creates a new realm of opportunity for protecting this vulnerable community, by raising global awareness about its plight, and will develop and coordinate U.S. rapid-response mechanisms to address new threats. Berry will also amplify the effect of the State Department’s work by raising additional funds to support LGBT rights promotion initiatives through public-private partnerships.¶ But as important as the creation of the position is to advancing a comprehensive LGBT rights-promotion strategy, the special representative will need the support of the entire diplomatic service, especially from frontline officers. Every bilateral relationship has its