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President Biden appoints Jessica Stern as U.S. Special Envoy for LGBTQI+ rights

Jessica Stern will now serve as the U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+. The position has been vacant for the past four years.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — President Joe Biden has used the month of June to display his efforts and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Biden got straight to work on June 1 by issuing a proclamation that recognized June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month. 

On Friday, the commander in chief signed a law making the former Pulse nightclub in Orlando a monumental site to remember all the people shot and killed in the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S.

In all, 49 people died, and 53 people were wounded.

Now, Biden is taking his Pride Month recognition up a notch. In a White House press release, it was announced that he will appoint Jessica Stern to be the U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons at the Department of State.

"A role critical to ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world."

Found under the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor within the State Department – duties of the special envoy are described as bringing together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold dignity and equality for all.

According to CNN, Stern is the second person to ever be appointed to the role after Randy Berry served from 2015 – when the role was created – until 2017. The position was left vacant by former President Donald Trump.

Stern is currently the executive director of OutRight Action International, an organization aimed at ensuring human rights for LGBTQ people both domestically and abroad.

Stern is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University's School of International & Public Affairs and a member of the LGBTI Reference Group of UNWomen, an organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

RELATED: Biden to sign law making Pulse Nightclub a national memorial

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