(CNN)President Joe Biden will name Jessica Stern as the US Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Friday, according to a White House official.

Stern currently serves as Executive Director of OutRight Action International, an organization aimed at ensuring human rights for LGBTQ people both domestically and abroad, and will join Biden at the White House Friday for remarks commemorating Pride Month, the official told CNN Thursday. She’s the second person to be named to the role — her predecessor, Randy Berry, served in the then-new role from its inception in 2015 until 2017, at which point the position was left vacant by former President Donald Trump. Berry, a career diplomat, now serves as ambassador to Nepal.”The Special Envoy will play a vital role in leading implementation of the Presidential Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World,” the White House told CNN in a statement. “At a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world, the Special Envoy will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold dignity and equality for all.”During his remarks on Friday, Biden will denounce state-level anti-LGBTQ legislation as “un-American” and “legislation disguised as bullying,” according to a White House official. Read MoreThe President will push the Senate to pass the Equality Act, which has been passed by the Democrat-led House of Representatives, and would provide “overdue, explicit civil rights protections” to members of the LGBTQ community across the country, according to the official. “He will commend the LGBTQ+ community for their courage and bravery pushing progress forward and recommit to the work ahead to confront the hate, discrimination, and violence facing LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender women of color, at home and around the world,” the official said. Biden on Friday will also sign H.R. 49 into law, which will designate the site of the Pulse Nightclub shooting as the “National Pulse Memorial.” The President will be joined at the White House by first lady Jill Biden, survivors of the shooting, members of the Florida congressional delegation, members of the Congressional Equality Caucus and others. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet secretary, will open the event with remarks. The President will be introduced by 16-year-old transgender advocate Ashton Mota of Lowell, Massachusetts, according to the official. Mota is a leader with the GenderCool Project, an organization dedicated to uplifting the positive stories and experience of young transgender Americans. The official said the President and first lady “will welcome LGBTQ+ advocates, faith leaders, state and local elected officials, and members of Congress to the East Room — right near the Ground Floor Corridor that has been illuminated in rainbow colors for the first-time as part of a historic Smithsonian LGBTQ+ exhibit on display.”Stern, who is based in New York, also serves as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs and as a member of the LGBTI Reference Group of UNWomen, the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. As Executive Director of OutRight Action International, Stern supported the legal registration of LGBTQ organizations globally, helped secure the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, expanded the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity, and co-founded the UN LGBTI Core Group.Stern’s appointment is the latest in a series of efforts by the administration to protect LGBTQ rights. In March, Biden became the first US president to acknowledge International Transgender Day of Visibility. Earlier this week, Biden Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced the administration would expand VA care to include gender confirmation surgery. Members of the Congressional Equality Caucus, including Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, will attend the event at the White House on Friday. Survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting will also be at the event. Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the first out transgender federal official to be confirmed by the United States Senate, will also attend, as well as Lt. Col. Bree Fram, one of the highest-ranking transgender service members. State legislative leaders, including Delaware State Sen. Sarah McBride, Virginia Del. Danica Roem and Pennsylvania State Rep. Malcom Kenyatta, will be at the event. Young transgender advocates and their families, including Stella Keating of the GenderCool Project, and leaders of LGBTQ organizations including Human Rights Campaign President David Alphonso, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis and PFLAG Executive Director Brian Bond, will also attend.

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/25/politics/lgbtq-envoy-jessica-stern/index.html

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