Obama admin. announces first-ever Special Envoy for LGBT rights
Feb. 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Obama Administration is heightening its already-heavy focus on promotion of its “LGBT rights” agenda overseas, creating a specific ambassador slot to champion the cause.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons Monday, opening his statement on the appointment saying, he “could not be more proud.”
“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,” Kerry said, after naming Randy Berry as the LGBT envoy.
Berry is an openly homosexual senior diplomat, according to a report by Charisma News, who has served as U.S. Consul General in Amsterdam since 2012. His prior overseas appointments were in Nepal, Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, South Africa and New Zealand.
“We looked far and wide to find the right American official for this important assignment,” said Kerry.
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Kerry went on to call Berry a voice of clarity and conviction on human rights, “and I’m confident that Randy’s leadership as our new Special Envoy will significantly advance efforts underway to move towards a world free from violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.”
The announcement of the new Special Envoy comes at the same time as the Obama administration is coming under fire for downplaying or ignoring the rising tide of violence and persecution targeted at Christians.
Each month 322 Christians worldwide are killed for their faith, and 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed, according to statistics from Open Doors, a Christian persecution outreach ministry.
722 acts of violence are committed monthly as well against Christians. These include beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests and forced marriages.
Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from either their governments or surrounding neighbors due to their Christian faith, the group says.
The Obama Administration was criticized last week for referring to the 21 Coptic Christians recently beheaded by ISIS as “Egyptian citizens” and not Christians, despite the terrorist group clearly stating on its videotape why the Christians were being killed.
In his new position Berry will be in charge of the Administration’s global efforts to abolish laws criminalizing “consensual same-sex conduct,” and develop its international capability to “respond rapidly to violence against LGBT persons.”
In the same week that the 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded in Egypt, and 90 Christians were kidnapped in Syria, the Obama Administration decried the fact that “more than 75 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex activity.”
“Too often, in too many countries, LGBT persons are threatened, jailed, and prosecuted because of who they are or who they love,” Kerry’s statement said.
Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo in Nigeria said earlier this month he believed the Obama Administration was dragging its feet in assisting the country militarily to fight the militant Islamist Boko Haram because of the Administration’s dedication to population control and pro-homosexual “cultural imperialism.”
“The United States actually said it would help Nigeria with Boko Haram only if we modify our laws concerning homosexuality, family planning, and birth control,” the bishop said.
Pope Francis has spoken multiple times about Christian persecution during his pontificate, expressing concern, calling for solidarity with persecuted Christians in the Middle East and denouncing the persecution.
The Obama Administration statement on the new LGBT envoy said that with its help, governments and other institutions, including those representing all religions, are taking steps to reaffirm the universal human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“It’s time to assert the equality and dignity of all persons,” the statement said. “No matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.”