ISLAMABAD: The US Embassy has arranged the first ever GLBT pride celebration ceremony in Islamabad and assured its participants that Washington would continue to support their cause here in Pakistan.
The US Embassy issued a press release on June 26 in which it made it public that Charge d’ Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland, and members of GLBT in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) hosted Islamabad Embassy’s first ever (GLBT) Pride Celebration on June 26.
It further states that this gathering demonstrated continued US Embassy support for human rights, including GLBT rights, in Pakistan at a time when those rights are increasingly under attack from extremist elements throughout Pakistani society.
Over 75 people including mission officers, US military representatives, foreign diplomats, and leaders of Pakistani GLBT advocacy groups attended the ceremony. In formal remarks, the charge d’ affaires underscored President Obama’s May 31, 2011 GLBT Pride Proclamation: “We rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of gender identity”.
Addressing the Pakistani GLBT activists, the charge d’ affaires, while acknowledging that the struggle for GLBT rights in Pakistan is still beginning, said: “I want to be clear that the US Embassy is here to support you and stand by your side every step of the way”.