Rainbowflash 2012 - More than 800 ballons with individual messages from the participants attached took off from Hamburg's Town Hall Plaza (Photo: U.S. Consulate General)
It was 22 years ago, on May 17, 1990, that the World Heath Organization removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases. Every year since 2005 supporters of Gay rights have met on this day all around the world to state their believes in equal rights for everyone – regardless of their sexual orientation. This day, which is widely known and accepted as “International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia“, is celebrated with a so called “Rainbowflash”, a gathering with speeches on the situation of the LBGT community. At the end of the flash, colorful balloons are released into the sky to spread the word of equality around the world.
The U.S. Consulate General has supported LBGT events on various occasions, and in this year’s Rainblowflash in Hamburg, Consul Wilbur A. Velarde expressed the support of the United States for equal rights for everyone. More than 800 people listened to his speech. Watch the video:
Read the transcript of the speech in English:
Speech of Consul Wilbar Velarde
U.S. Consulate General Hamburg May 17, 2012
International Day Against Homophobia
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!
We are assembled here to confirm what we all believe to be true: that we are all created equal, that we are all endowed with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Wir sind heute alle hier, weil wir das bekräftigen wollen, was wir für richtig und wahr halten: dass alle Menschen gleich geschaffen sind, und dass wir alle mit gewissen unabdingbaren Rechten ausgestattet sind, darunter das Recht auf Leben und Freiheit und das Streben nach Glück.)
There are still numerous countries around the world where LGBT persons experience discrimination and criminalization only because of their sexual orientation. There are still countries, where LGBT persons even face the death penalty. To all of you, who are discriminated against and criminalized because of your sexual orientation, wherever you may live, be assured that we , the United States of America, stand by your rights.
In June 2010, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton summed up the U.S. government’s guiding principle on LGBT rights: “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”
Under the leadership of President Obama, the United States’ promotion of LGBT human rights is a priority in domestic and foreign policy.
And that is why I am here with you. Because the United States of America supports LGBT rights, we promote Pride events in many countries worldwide, and here in Hamburg, and we will continue to fight for these human rights everywhere.
Thank you very much.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!