MassEquality Statement on John Kerry’s Confirmation as Sec. of State

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massequalityYesterday, Sen. John Kerry was confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as US Secretary of State. MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini offered the following statement in response:

“We congratulate Sen. John Kerry on this remarkable honor. Sen. Kerry served for 28 years in the United States Senate and amassed a lengthy record in support of LGBTQ people. Highlights include his vote in 1996, along with only 13 other senators, to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act. And last year, he was one of just 16 senators who urged the Obama Administration to halt the deportation of immigrants married to a same-sex spouse who were ineligible to receive green cards because of DOMA. Massachusetts’ loss of this extraordinary Senator will be the world’s gain, and Sen. Kerry’s shoes will be hard to fill here in the Commonwealth. But MassEquality will work to ensure that the next junior senator from Massachusetts is as strong an advocate for LGBTQ issues as Sen. Kerry.”

“We also thank outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her service. Clinton was the most pro-LGBTQ Secretary of State in history, and her leadership has benefited the LGBTQ community across the country and across the globe. Sec. Clinton is responsible for instituting the revision of the Department of State’s equal employment opportunity policy to prohibit discriminatory treatment of job applicants and employees based on gender identity, and for the extension of the full range of legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of Foreign Service members serving oversees. One year ago, on International Human Rights Day, Sec. Clinton gave an historic address before the United Nations declaring that LGBTQ rights are human rights.

“We fully expect that Sen. Kerry will, like Sec. Clinton, embrace a human rights agenda that recognizes the full worth and dignity of all of us.”

MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. MassEquality does this by partnering across issues, identities and communities to build a broad, inclusive and politically powerful movement that changes hearts and minds and achieves policy and electoral victories.