Biden names special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ+ rights

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Joe Biden

President Joe Biden waves before walking up the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, June 24, 2021. Biden is traveling to North Carolina and will meet with the people on the front lines of his administration’s vaccination effort in Raleigh. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden is naming a special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ+ rights.

The White House said in a statement Friday that Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, will fill the State Department post. Her responsibilities will involve ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the LGBTQ+ rights around the world. OutRight defends human rights and works to prevent abuses of LGBTQ+ people.

In her new role, Stern will help put in place a presidential memorandum to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people as well as bring together like-minded governments, nonprofits and corporations to uphold equality and dignity, according to the White House.

Later Friday, Biden plans to sign into law a measure that designates the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as a national memorial. A mass shooting at the club in June 2016 left 49 people dead and 53 wounded in what was the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ+ community in U.S. history.

After the signing, Biden is expected to make remarks on Pride Month.

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