US: Bill proposes making LGBT rights foreign-policy priority

Measure calls for appointment of special envoy

The main sponsor of a bill seeking to make LGBT rights a foreign-policy priority has told The Huffington Post that reports of discrimination in Russia, Uganda and other countries prompted the development of the measure, which was introduced in the US House of Representatives July 16.

House Democrat John Tierney, of Massachusetts, whose bill has bipartisan support, says it is not a bid to “get involved in other countries,” but to boost the State Department’s diplomacy on the issue, according to the report.

The bill’s provisions include a call for the appointment of a special envoy to coordinate initiatives involving the department, NGOs, other governments and the private sector to tackle anti-LGBT discrimination around the world, the report says.

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

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