Trump Appoints, confirms out gay diplomat, Randy Berry, as Ambassador to Nepal
By Arthur S. Leonard. This article appears in the Summer Issue of LGBT Law Notes, the most comprehensive monthly publication covering the latest legal and legislative developments, here and abroad. Subscribe:
Randy Berry, an out gay diplomat who served as the first special U.S. Envoy to promote LGBT rights abroad under Secretary of State John Kerry in 2015, has been appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate to be the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal.
Since the State Department has abandoned the mission of promoting LGBT rights abroad in the Trump Administration, Berry’s former position was no longer needed. (Confirming this point, in a talk to a “religious freedom” conference in Washington on July 24, reported the Kenyan Daily Nation, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that the Obama Administration’s promotion of gay rights in Africa had amounted to “religious persecution,” and decried the use of “US taxpayer dollars” to “discourage Christina values in other democratic countries.”)
But Berry is a widely-respected foreign-service professional, and Trump has been having great difficulty persuading enough of his right-wing billionaire friends to accept ambassadorships to countries without adequate spa and golf course facilities, so presumably Berry is being sent to this remote geographic corner of the world to fill a lingering gap.
Trump has notoriously failed to nominate ambassadors to many countries that loom large in U.S. public policy concerns, after his first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, demanded and accepted the resignations of most incumbent ambassadors at the start of the administration, and many key ambassadorial posts remained vacant more than a year and a half into the new administration, with “acting” staff keeping the embassies open.
At least Ambassador Berry will have an opportunity to explore exotic cuisine . . . . (We’re doing some guessing here!) Washington Blade, Sept. 7.