Secretary of State John Kerry apologized Monday for the State Department's history of discriminating against employees and applicants for their sexual orientation.
That history began in the 1940s, and continued for decades, Kerry said in a statement. The department was one of many employers, public and private, to discriminate against its staff and job applicants by forcing them to resign or refusing to hire them because of their sexual orientation, he said.
"These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today," Kerry said. "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 community."
LGBTI stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex. In April 2015, Kerry appointed Randy W. Berry to be the department's first special envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, in order to promote the group's rights around the world.