John Kerry Apologizes For The State Department’s Long History Of LGBT Discrimination

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With an incoming administration whose members generally disagree with their predecessors’ views on LGBT issues (not to mention additional “bathroom” bills), members of the community aren’t looking forward to the next four years. More LGBT-friendly states, like California, are even banning state-funded travel to states with bigoted legislation. Yet with less than two weeks to go before President Barack Obama bids his post adieu and President-elect Donald Trump takes over, many outgoing administrators are doing what they can to ease the pain.

Like Secretary of State John Kerry, who followed up his controversial Israeli settlements comments from December with a formal apology to former and current LGBT employees and job applicants. According to CNN, Kerry criticized “decades of discrimination” via an official department statement:

“These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today,” Kerry said in a statement issued by the department in his name. “On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past.”

Recounting episodes of discrimination dating back to the 1940s, Kerry described instances in which LGBT employees were forced to resign once their sexual orientation was found out. That, or department-wide job hiring practices by which known or suspected LGBT applicants were never considered for a job based on this factor alone. He added such practices were common “among many public and private employers” at the, but otherwise stuck to the State Department’s self-deprecation and apologized formally.

(Via CNN)