Ambassador Robert T. Yamate Remarks
June 15, 2017
Colleagues and friends:
Thank you for gathering here today to mark the unveiling of the LGBTI Pride Flag.
Every June, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and Intersex Pride Month is celebrated to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan that marked a turning point in the gay rights movement. Even more importantly, this month is an opportunity for us to highlight the challenges faced by and the accomplishments of the LGBTI community in the United States and also in Madagascar.
As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in his press statement launching Pride Month:
“The Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom.
We also recognize that LGBTI persons continue to face the threat of violence and discrimination. The United States will continue to support the human rights of LGBTI persons in partnership with like-minded governments, businesses, and civil society organizations globally.
The United States remains committed to human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons. Dignity and equality for all persons are among our founding constitutional principles, and these principles continue to drive U.S. diplomacy.”
One quality Madagascar and the United States share is diversity. It is one of the gifts that make our two nations so unique. Let this flag today be a symbol of our mutual willingness to embrace that diversity, to embrace equality, and recognize the strength that comes from it.