Monday, January 9, 2017

Kerry apologizes for past LGBT discrimination at State Department; Politico, 1/9/17

Nahal Toosi, Politico; 

Kerry apologizes for past LGBT discrimination at State Department:

"Secretary of State John Kerry is formally apologizing to gay, lesbian and other State Department employees who were fired or otherwise discriminated against in the past because of their sexual orientation.

The unprecedented apology, issued in a statement Monday, is the latest step that the Obama administration has taken to promote inclusion of the LGBT community in its ranks. It appears to refer to the "Lavender Scare" purging of gays and lesbians from U.S. government ranks in the 1950s and 1960s, and it comes less than two weeks before President Barack Obama leaves office, making the way for President-elect Donald Trump's team.

"In the past — as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades — the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place," Kerry said in his statement. "These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today,"

He added: "On behalf of the department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past."

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