From gleeful TV shows to a village of people in music, the struggle for gay equality has been gaining steam for decades: domestic partners now qualify for insurance, sexual orientation is no longer frowned upon (by most), and, depending on who you ask, federal same-sex marriage rights may soon become a reality.
Yet 17 states still ban same-sex marriage, and some advocates still feel the need to educate the nation like Graham Moore so eloquently did at the Oscars with his inspirational battle cry of “Stay Weird. Stay Different.”
Ergo, the need for the State Department to make an unprecedented move by naming Randy Berry as its first-ever international envoy for gay rights to help coordinate U.S. strategy and address discrimination around the world.
To be technical, Berry (who was Consul-General in Amsterdam) is now Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. That’s a really fancy way to say he represents the U.S. government with full (Latin: plenus) power (Latin: potens) but is not a head of state. It’s a British thing that the colonists brought over.
The Washington Post tells us this measure, proposed by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), wasn’t approved last year. This year, however, the result was different:
“Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally -– the heart and conscience of our diplomacy,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Party politics aside, this is about “addressing discrimination,” which shouldn’t be acceptable for any group of people in America.
PR Win? Assuredly. America Win? Definitely.