Why does a group of people that accounts for less than 2% of the U.S. population get their own special envoy?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States named its first international envoy for gay rights Monday, tasking a veteran diplomat with leading U.S. efforts to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals overseas.

Randy Berry, currently the consul general in the Netherlands, will promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, Secretary of State John Kerry said. A longtime foreign service officer, Berry has served at U.S. posts in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda and South Africa, and speaks Spanish and Arabic.

“Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally — the heart and conscience of our diplomacy,” Kerry said in a statement. He cited overturning laws that still criminalize same-sex activity in more than 75 countries as a specific priority.

The State Department has said it planned to appoint an openly gay diplomat to the post.