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John Kerry apologizes for State Department's past LGBTQ discrimination

Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry released a letter Monday on the State Department's behalf formally apologizing for the department's past discrimination against LGBTQ employees. "In the past … the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place," Kerry wrote, just 11 days before he leaves office. "Those actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today."

Kerry's apology followed a letter from Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in November urging him to "take steps to remedy a deep stain on our national history." Cardin's request was echoed by LGBT rights groups. "While it may not be possible to make up for the damage that was done decades ago, these small but crucial gestures would help to set the right tone at your department as it enters a new and uncertain time in our country," the Human Rights Campaign's Government Affairs Director David Stacy wrote last month.

You can read Kerry's letter below. Becca Stanek