By Daniel Baer
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
June 8, 2011
Hi, I’m Daniel Baer, a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor here at the State Department and on behalf of Secretary Clinton and my colleagues here in Washington and at embassies and consulates around the world, I’m delighted to be able to wish everyone a Happy Pride.
The first Pride celebration was held in New York over 40 years ago, and since then, in an ever-growing number of cities across the United States and around the world, Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender people and their friends, families, and allies have come together to celebrate dignity, community, and equality.
From Cape Town to Beijing, from Mexico City to Sydney, from Lima to Talinn, this year’s Pride celebrations reflect local cultures and a universal message—that all people are entitled to live with respect and dignity regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and regardless of where they live.
Discriminatory laws and practices on all continents continue to feed stigma and shame for LGBT people. Pride gatherings are an opportunity to reject that shame and the inequality that it suggests, and to assert in its place the legitimate entitlement of each person to enjoy universal human rights, and the equal place of each person in the human family.
As people come together in many places around the world, it’s important to remember the individuals who are blocked by law or fear from gathering where they live, and the people who have been imprisoned or even killed for who they are. They, too, deserve to be free from hate and shame; they, too, deserve to know that they are not alone. They remind us of the work left to be done.
I’m proud to work for a Secretary of State and a President who are committed to equality and dignity for everyone. Let’s all work together to make sure that the next year is one of continued progress toward making that principle a reality. Happy pride everyone.