In a piece titled ‘Why I Oppose the United States’ Special Envoy for LGBT Human Rights’ which was originally published on the dailybeast.com, Nigerian gay activist Bisi Alimi states his stance on the recent appointment of Randy Berry as Special Envoy for gay rights.
The appointment of Randy Berry as Special Envoy for LGBT Human Rights drew praise from U.S. LGBT activists. Those of us outside the U.S. are less enthusiastic.
In February, the U.S. State Department announced that longtime diplomat Randy Berry would be appointed as the first Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons to help eliminate violence and discrimination against LGBT people worldwide. This appointment has been widely applauded in the United States, but many of us outside the U.S. are concerned that it may be more symbolic than substantive—and that, in fact, the symbol may be a negative one.
To be sure, the Obama administration has been the most pro-LGBT in American history. Most recently, in his 2015 State of the Union speech, Obama became the first president to say the word ‘transgender’ at a high-profile event. He signed an executive order last summer barring government contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees. LGBT health care disparities were addressed under his Affordable Care Act. Continue reading