Tags: john kerry | apology | shift | lgbt | politics

WashPost: Kerry's Apology an Important Shift in LGBT Politics

Image: WashPost: Kerry's Apology an Important Shift in LGBT Politics

John Kerry (ALEX BRANDON/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 12:22 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry's public apology for the State Department decades-long mistreatment of gays signals an important shift in LGBT politics, according to an analysis in The Washington Post.

"Throughout my career, including as Secretary of State, I have stood strongly in support of the LGBTI community, recognizing that respect for human rights must include respect for all individuals," Kerry wrote on the department's website.

But he added: "In the past — as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades — the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today.

"On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past…"

And Rick Valelly, a professor of political science at Swarthmore College, wrote in his analysis in the Post: "Is this a big deal? Yes. It underscores that political apologies now encompass gay men and women here in the U.S."

And he noted the gay rights struggle "is one of the great civil rights struggles of our time."

Valelly said the apology helps open up a new angle on LGBT politics.

"Imagine, though, if every agency of the federal government issued an apology, along with each of the armed forces, for comparable conduct," he said. "You might call that a utopian dream, as it undoubtedly is.

"Or perhaps it is already ingrained in American culture that, as a Republican-appointed federal judge in Pennsylvania wrote when ruling for same-sex marriage in 2014, 'it is axiomatic that sexual orientation has no relevance to a person's capabilities as a citizen.'"

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Secretary of State John Kerry's public apology for the State Department decades-long mistreatment of gays signals an important shift in LGBT politics, according to an analysis in The Washington Post.
john kerry, apology, shift, lgbt, politics
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2017-22-19
Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 12:22 PM
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