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Senator Edward J. Markey applauded the announcement from the State Department that it is creating a new Special Envoy position to advocate for LGBT rights. Senator Markey and several lawmakers in the Senate and the House called for the position in legislation introduced in January 2015, the International Human Rights Defense Act. The legislation was originally introduced by Senator Markey in June 2014. The legislation directs the State Department to make preventing and responding to discrimination and violence against the LGBT community a foreign policy priority and devise a global strategy to achieve those goals. The legislation establishes a Special Envoy position in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to coordinate that effort.