January 26, 2021 at 12:37 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Senate confirms Antony Blinken as next secretary of state
Anthony Blinken, gay news, Washington Blade
Antony Blinken (Photo public domain)

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 78-22 to confirm Antony Blinken as the next secretary of state.

The vote took place a day after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced his nomination.

Blinken, 58, told U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) during his confirmation hearing he would “repudiate” the Commission for Unalienable Rights that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo created in 2019.

The commission — which LGBTQ advocacy groups have challenged in federal court — sought to stress “natural laws and natural rights.” Pompeo tapped Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law School professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican who is known for her strong opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples, to chair it.

Blinken during his confirmation hearing also said he would once again allow ambassadors to fly Pride flags at their embassies. Blinken further pledged to raise the State Department’s special envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ rights to an ambassador level position.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Dan Baer is among those who welcomed Blinken’s confirmation.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved.