According to a White House official, President Joe Biden will appoint Jessica Stern as the US Special Representative to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons on Friday.
Stern is currently the Executive Director of OutRight Action International. This organization works to ensure human rights for LGBTQ people in the United States. He will be joining Biden at The White House Friday for remarks marking Pride Month, the official said Thursday to Daily Reuters.
She is the second person to be appointed to this role. Randy Berry served as the predecessor from 2015 to 2017 when the position was made vacant by Donald Trump. Berry is a career diplomat and serves as the ambassador to Nepal.
Daily Reuters was informed by the White House that the Special Envoy would play an important role in leading the implementation of the Presidential Memorandum for Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World. The Special Envoy will work with like-minded governments, corporations, and civil society organizations to promote dignity and equality at a time when LGBTQI+ rights are being increasingly threatened around the globe.
According to a White House official, Biden will make remarks Friday denouncing state-level anti-LGBTQ legislation.
According to an official, the President will press the Senate to adopt the Equality Act. This law, which was passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives in a Democrat-led House, would provide “overdue, explicit civil rights protections” for members of the LGBTQ community throughout the country.
The official stated that he would commend the LGBTQ+ community’s courage and bravery in pushing forward progress and recommit the work ahead to confront hate, discrimination, and violence faced by LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender women of color, at home as well as around the globe.
Biden will sign H.R. 49 on Friday. 49, which will make the Pulse Nightclub shooting site the “National Pulse Memorial” Jill Biden, first lady, survivors of the shooting and members of Florida’s congressional delegation, as well as members of Congressional Equality Caucus, will join the President at the White House.
The event will be opened by Pete Buttigieg (Transport Secretary), who is the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet Secretary. According to the official, Ashton Mota, a 16-year old transgender advocate from Lowell, Massachusetts will introduce the President. Mota is a leader in the GenderCool Project which is dedicated to encouraging positive stories and experiences of transgender Americans.
According to the official, the President and First Lady will welcome LGBTQ+ advocates, faith leaders, and members of Congress to East Room — just near Ground Floor Corridor, which has been lit in rainbow colors as part of a historic Smithsonian LGBTQ+ exhibition.
Stern is based in New York and serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs. She also serves as a member of UNWomen’s LGBTI Reference Group.
Stern was the Executive Director of OutRight Action International. He supported the legalization of LGBTQ organizations worldwide, secured the mandate of UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and expanded the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity. Stern also co-founded UN LGBTI Core Group.
Stern’s appointment is just the latest effort by the administration in protecting LGBTQ rights. Biden was the first US president in March to recognize International Transgender Day of Visibility. Biden Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough made an announcement earlier this week that the administration would expand VA Care to include gender-confirming surgery.
On Friday, members of the Congressional Equality Caucus will be present at the White House event, which includes Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin and Democratic Rep. David Cicilline from Rhode Island. The event will also include survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine will be there as well as Lt. Colonel Bree Fram, a transgender service member at the highest rank.
The Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride, Virginia Del., is one of the state legislative leaders. The event will feature Danica Roem, and Malcolm Kenyatta (Pennsylvania State Rep.)
Young transgender activists and their families will be represented by Stella Keating, GenderCool Project’s founder, and other leaders of LGBTQ organizations, such as Human Rights Campaign President David Alphonso and Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, and Brian Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG.