news

UK government has no plans for a dedicated global LGBT rights envoy

The idea was first brought in by the Obama administration in 2015

2018-07-11

The UK government has “no plans” for a dedicated envoy on LGBT rights.

During the Obama administration in the US, they introduced an envoy for global LGBT+ rights back in 2015 to advocate for human rights for the community around the world.

However, when Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States, the role has been vacant since November and the State Department is taking little action to fill it.

Now, LGBT+ activists have called on the UK Conservative government to take up the work but they have been resistant to the idea and there was no mention of one in the recent LGBT+ survey.

In Parliament this week, the Stewart McDonald, a member of the SNP, asked Foreign Office minister Victoria Atkins about the role to which she appeared to rule out.

She said: “The promotion and protection of LGBT rights is a UK priority.

“We work to promote tolerance and non-discrimination against LGBT people and to address discriminatory laws, in particular those that criminalise same sex relations.

“My Ministerial colleagues and I, and every one of our Ambassadors and High Commissioners worldwide act as envoys on this issue.

“We consider that it is more effective to promote the rights of LGBT people as part of a broader approach to equality and non-discrimination, and through the regular engagement of FCO Ministers and officials at our Embassies and High Commissions overseas.

“We have no current plans to appoint a Special Envoy to work exclusively on LGBT rights.”