20:10 GMT13 May 2021
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    The US Department of State is apologizing for past discrimination based on sexual orientation against employees and applicants, Secretary of State John Kerry stated in a news release on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Kerry noted that discrimination based on sexual orientation at the State Department stretches back to the 1940s.

    "On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex] community," Kerry stated in the release.

    The Department took actions, such as forcing employees to resign or refused to hire applicants because of their sexual orientation, he pointed out.

    Kerry concluded that during his tenure, he stood strongly by the LGBTI community, recognizing and respecting their human rights.

    The State Department has emphasized in the past several years that families of LGBTI employees have the same protections overseas as families of other officers, the release pointed out.

    In 2015, Kerry appointed the first Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, the release added.

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