The newly confirmed U.S. secretary of state has vowed to support the LGBT agenda by flying pride flags at United States embassies and resurrecting the “special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.” Antony Blinken, who was confirmed 78-22 by the United States Senate, shared his thoughts about LGBT issues during his Senate confirmation hearing, which took place before President Joe Biden took office. As he questioned Blinken, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “You and President-elect Biden have indicated that you’re going to appoint a new special envoy for human rights on LGBTI people, a position that I’ve been pushing to make permanent through the International Human Rights Defence Act.” As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed to make LGBT activism a centrepiece of his foreign policy.
“After four years of Trump administration efforts to marginalize, minimize, and do damage to the rights of the LGBTI people, I think it’s going to be vital to appoint a seasoned expert on this issues. Are you going to move towards a speedy appointment of an LGBTI envoy and would you consider raising it to an ambassadorial level?” Markey asked. Blinken answered yes: “This is a matter of some real urgency, we’ve seen violence directed against LGBTQI people around the world increase. We’ve seen the highest number of murders of transgender people, particularly women of colour, that we’ve seen ever and so I think the United States playing the role that it should be playing in standing up for and defending the rights of LGBTQI people is something the Department is going to take on and take on immediately.”
Markey also asked Blinken if he would “repudiate the findings of the Commission on Unalienable Rights and reaffirm the United States’ acceptance and adherence to the human rights laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and whether he would “ensure that ambassadors are able to fly the pride flag at our embassies around the world.” “Yes to both,” Blinken replied. The Commission on Unalienable Rights was created under then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019. Democrats and progressive advocacy groups quickly criticized the move to create the commission, warning that it constituted an attempt to remove LGBT rights and abortion from the consensus definition of human rights. During the Trump administration, the U.S. signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which declared that “there is no international right to abortion.”
During the Trump administration, U.S. embassies were told not to fly the pride flag which is designed to show support for LGBT rights. Then-Vice President Mike Pence defended the State Department’s declaration by saying that “that one flag should fly at American Embassies and that’s the American flag.” The special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons was “left vacant in the Trump years.” The position was created during the latter part of the Obama administration. The first special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons was Randy Berry, who served in the position from 2015 to 2017 before former President Trump appointed him to the position of United States Ambassador to Nepal. Markey contended that “the Trump administration rolled back much of the U.S. previous efforts to support and promote LGBTI rights around the world.”
Source: Christian Post