Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on LGBTQI+ Pride Month

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
June 1, 2021

Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on LGBTQI+ Pride Month

This Pride Month, we reassert our commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, equality, and freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) people in the United States and throughout the world.

Pride Month was first celebrated in the United States to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, a turning point in the LGBTQI+ rights movement when LGBTQI+ Americans took to the streets to demand dignity, equal justice, and equal opportunity. Today, Pride Month serves as a testament to the extraordinary progress the LGBTQI+ community has made in the fight against bigotry and discrimination, as well as a vital reminder of the significant work that remains to achieve full equality for LGBTQI+ people at home and abroad. Because of the courageous acts of millions who spoke out to demand justice and the important work of those who quietly pushed for progress since the Stonewall riots, our nation has made great strides in recognizing what these brave individuals long held to be true: that human rights belong to all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics.

The struggle to end violence, discrimination, criminalization, and stigma against LGBTQI+ persons is a global challenge that deserves a global response. LGBTQI+ status or conduct is still criminalized in more than 70 countries or territories, and many individuals continue to face discrimination, harassment, and violence at work, at school, and in public accommodations.

The United States stands firmly behind our commitment to universal human rights because everyone should be treated with dignity and respect no matter who they are or whom they love. To this end, we are leading efforts across the UN system and working within the UN LGBTI Core Group to protect and promote the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons. We made advancements this year through the Core Group on drawing attention in the General Assembly to the rights of transgender persons, and highlighting in the Security Council the particular impact of sexual violence in conflict on LGBTQI+ individuals. Our work must continue to fully realize the human rights of LGBTQI+ people including through combatting criminalization of LGBTQI+ status and conduct and protecting vulnerable LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers.