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The Elton John AIDS Foundation Applauds Secretary Kerry’s Appointment of the “First Ever” Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons

24 February 2015

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The Elton John AIDS Foundation is extremely pleased that the United States Government today took another important step in recognising LGBT rights as human rights.  By appointing a Special Envoy dedicated to this purpose, Secretary Kerry has added weight, focus and attention to America’s efforts to promote fundamental fairness and equality worldwide.

As the Secretary said in his statement this morning, “too often, in too many countries, LGBT persons are threatened, jailed, and prosecuted because of who they are or who they love.”  Elton John added, “This is not only inhumane and unjust, it seriously undermines our collective effort to end AIDS by driving many of those in need underground and away from essential treatment and prevention services. “   Human rights and public health are not at odds but in sync in our global fight against AIDS.  If we are to achieve an AIDS free generation, we must respect human rights and leave no one behind.

We commend Secretary Kerry for his unwavering leadership and commitment to human rights - including LGBT rights - worldwide, and for taking action that helps move this vital principle from paper to practice.  The Elton John AIDS Foundation looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Secretary, the Congress, and now with Special Envoy Randy Berry on this life-affirming and life-saving work.