Former U.S. Senator Ken Salazar to be U.S. Ambassador to Mexico

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On June 15, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Ken Salazar as the next U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ken Salazar, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Mexican States
Ken Salazar has served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Colorado U.S. Senator, and Colorado Attorney General. In 1998, Salazar was elected as Colorado Attorney General and became the first Latino ever elected to statewide office in Colorado. He was reelected as Attorney General in 2002. In 2004, Salazar was elected to the U.S. Senate for Colorado becoming the first Latino democrat to be elected to the United States Senate since 1972. During the Obama Administration, he served as Secretary of the Interior, where he had a lead role on energy and climate, and the nation’s conservation agenda. A native of Colorado, Salazar is a fifth-generation rancher in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. He is a partner at WilmerHale, an American law firm and the founder of the firm’s Denver office. Salazar represents clients on energy, environment, natural resources and Native American matters. Salazar has a B.S. from Colorado College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He also has honorary degrees from the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of Colorado School of Law, the University of Denver School of Law, and Colorado College. His native language is Spanish.

If confirmed, Mr. Salazar would succeed Christopher Landau who served from August 8, 2019–January 20, 2021. Since 1960, appointees to this position have been on a 3/10 – career/non-career split or 76.9% in favor of non-career appointees. Previous appointees to this position includes:

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Pride Month At Posts Where Consensual Same-Sex Acts Could End In Death Penalty

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According to the State-Sponsored Homophobia 2020: Global Legislation Overview Update (PDF):

“As of November 2020,
there is full legal certainty that the death penalty is the legally prescribed punishment for consensual samesex sexual acts in six (6) UN Member States, namely Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria (12 Northern states only), Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There are also five (5) additional UN Member States where certain sources indicate that the death penalty may be imposed for consensual same-sex conduct, but where there is less legal certainty on the matter. These countries are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia (including Somaliland) and the United Arab Emirates.

….“full legal certainty” is understood as the absence of disputes about whether the death penalty can be legally imposed for consensual same-sex conduct. This legal certainty may be derived from the existence of written, codified laws unequivocally prescribing the death penalty for same-sex conduct, as it is the case in Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Yemen. This list also includes Saudi Arabia, where fundamental laws mandate courts to apply Sharia law “as derived from the Qur’an and the Sunna”. In this particular case, even if the death penalty is not codified in black letter law (in a formal piece of legislation), a broad consensus—supported by judicial practice and ancillary sourceshas made it legally certain that Saudi Arabia’s legal system considers the death penalty a possible and appropriate punishment for same-sex conduct.

Conversely, the lack of clear provisions mandating thedeath penalty for consensual same-sex sexual acts, the existence of disputes between scholars and experts with regard to the interpretation of ambiguous provisions, and the need for judicial interpretation of certain “generic” crimes to encompass consensual same-sex sexual acts has led ILGA World to classify the remaining five UN Member States as jurisdictions where there is no full legal certainty. Additionally, the lack of evidence of enforcement couldto a certainextentbe considered as an argument potentially supporting the idea that the death penalty is not considered to be the appropriate legal punishment for these acts by local authorities. However, this argument can be easily rebutted by a mere reluctance to enforce such harsh penalty, even when the possibility exists.

Nonetheless, there is still avenue for advocacy even regarding countries where it is not legally certain that the death penalty is imposed. For example, it may be worthwhile to clarify the ambit of zina (adultery) laws, as the threat of the death penaltyeven if only a theoretical possibilitycan still be an affront to human dignity and equality”


We’ve poured over the Twitter feed of FS posts at the 10 countries cited  in the report. Of the 10 posts, only US Embassy Afghanistan tweeted directly about June as (LGBTI) Pride Month. US Embassy Yemen tweeted a canned Share America piece about the LGBTQI officials serving in the Biden Administration. The US Mission to Saudi Arabia tweeted that “Saudi women are leading in the tech revolution…..” And US Embassy Pakistan remembered to tweet about “Pollinator Week.”

Brunei

Mauritania

Nigeria

Saudi Arabia

Yemen

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Afghanistan

Pakistan

Qatar

Somalia

United Arab Emirates

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