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September 29, 2014

Special Envoy Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you for your critical work to promote the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people around the world. We are writing to respectfully request that you appoint a Special Envoy for LGBT human rights within the Department of State, in line with the position proposed in the International Human Rights Defense Act of 2014 (S. 2472, H.R. 5128).

Appointing a Special Envoy for LGBT human rights would build on your Administration’s progress for LGBT human rights globally by elevating these critical issues within U.S. policy and fulfilling an essential leadership, coordination, and diplomatic role. The Special Envoy would represent the United States internationally on LGBT human rights matters, coordinate government efforts regarding the advancement of human rights for LGBT people, and support the integration of human rights for LGBT people throughout U.S. foreign policy. Critically, the Special Envoy would engage with senior officials around the world, conveying U.S. support for LGBT rights and, where appropriate, working with them to improve laws and policies that impact the lives of LGBT people.

The upcoming United Nations General Assembly represents an excellent opportunity to announce the creation of this position, as a signal to the world that the U.S. is not only maintaining its commitment to the safety and freedom of LGBT people around the world but is elevating that commitment. We hope that this announcement would be followed by an expeditious appointment of the Special Envoy.

Mr. President, your actions in support of LGBT rights globally and here at home have been groundbreaking. We hope that you will build on your achievements and reinforce your legacy of support by appointing a Special Envoy for LGBT human rights.

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