New U.S. LGBTI Envoy Seeking Global LGBTI Rights

Randy Berry, the State Department’s first envoy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, said on Tuesday he is leaving on a 15-country, five-week trip to encourage foreign governments to include protection for homosexuals in their constitutions.

Speaking at the United States Institution of Peace in Washington, D.C., ahead of a panel of gay rights activists from around the world, Berry said gay rights and human rights are “issues we hold very, very dear.”  Civil conflict around the globe that leads to constitutional change offers a “unique opportunity” to advance those rights, he added.

“Constitutional change has provided a unique opportunity for groups to mobilize for their members’ rights and for recognition,” Berry said.

He did not say which countries he will be visiting.