US Embassy hosts ‘gay, lesbian and transgender ceremony’ in Islamabad for first time

Islamabad: The US Embassy in Islamabad has hosted the first ever gay, lesbians and transgender (GLBT) pride celebration ceremony there, and assured the Pakistani participants that Washington would continue to support their cause.

“Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland and members of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFFA) hosted Embassy Islamabad’s first ever gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Pride Celebration on June 26,” the US Embassy said in a statement.

Over 75 people, including Mission Officers, US military representatives, foreign diplomats and leaders of Pakistani LGBT advocacy groups attended the ceremony.

“The gathering demonstrated continued US Embassy support for human rights, including LGBT rights, in Pakistan at a time when those rights are increasingly under attack from extremist elements throughout Pakistani society,” the statement said.

In formal remarks at the ceremony, Ambassador Hoagland underscored US President Barack Obama’s GLBT Pride Proclamation on May 31 that, “we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Addressing the Pakistani LGBT activists, Ambassador Hoagland acknowledged that the struggle for GLBT rights in Pakistan is still beginning.

But “I want to be clear: the US Embassy is here to support you and stand by your side every step of the way,” he added.


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