LGBTQ Ambassadors

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With several recent appointments of LGBTQ individuals as Ambassadors, it is revealing to look at the list of LGBTQ Ambassadors around the world.

Not surprising, perhaps, is that there are not very many of them. As political representatives in other countries, a certain sensitivity to that country's culture and opinion is required. Too many countries are still working to accommodate, or completely intolerant of, LGBTQ individuals around the world. However, President Obama challenged that notion in 2013 with the appointment of James Brewster as Ambassador to Dominican Republic, a move which outraged that country's Catholics.

President Bill Clinton of the U.S. showed his mettle in appointing that country's first gay ambassador, James Hormel, in 1999. Later, the country's move to greater acceptance of LGBTQ individuals in the State Department received a significant boost from his wife and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. She implemented new policies toward LGBTQ members of her department and recognition of their spouses. Prior to that, as the Washington Post points out in the article referenced below, discretion was a key word, and it is doubtful an LGBTQ individual would obtain the necessary security clearance.

Great Britain lifted a ban on homosexuals in the Foreign Office only in 1991 under Prime Minister John Major.

Even more disappointing, perhaps, is that there is only one lesbian in the Ambassador list, Judith Gough (British Ambassador to Sweden since 2019). Why is this so? Perhaps more of an issue should be made of this fact.

An organization for American LGBTQ members of the State Department, including Ambassadors, is the Gay and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA).

Other countries with LGBTQ Ambassadors are limited to Great Britain, Israel, Spain, Belize, Chile, Australia, Sweden, Suriname, New Zealand and France. The advancement on this issue at this time rests principally with the U.S.

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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