Remarks by Shannon Brown, Political Officer of the US embassy to Mongolia at the opening of Mongolia’s first LGBT “Pride Week”

Good afternoon distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I congratulate Mongolia on holdings its first Pride Week.  This week represents an important milestone in advancing the rights of Mongolia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.  I am delighted to be here to share in this moment.
The United States and Mongolia share a commitment to democracy and human rights, and to ending discrimination in our respective countries.  In a June 2013 proclamation, President Obama wrote, “We have a long way to go, but if we continue on this path together, I am confident that one day soon, from coast to coast, all of our young people will look to the future with the same sense of promise and possibility. I am confident because I have seen the talent, passion, and commitment of LGBT advocates and their allies, and I know that when voices are joined in common purpose, they cannot be stopped.” 
When I look out at this audience, I see more people joined in common purpose:  government officials, civil society leaders, representatives of international organizations, and ordinary citizens committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Your dedication and your courage are transforming Mongolia and the world, and I am confident that you will be equally unstoppable.
Thanks to you, Mongolia has made important strides in bringing LGBT rights into the national discussion.  The National Human Rights Commission’s most recent report contains an entire chapter on the situation of Mongolia’s LGBT persons.  Based on the Commission’s report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Legal Affairs in July adopted a resolution to implement international recommendations related to the rights of LGBT people.
Yet more work remains to be done.  The Commission’s report concluded that “negative attitudes and stereotypes are dominant in society because of inadequate knowledge and public awareness of LGBT persons and their rights.”  Events like Pride Week are an important means of educating the public.  The United States is proud to support the LGBT Center project called “A Tolerant and Hate-Free Mongolia,” a one-year project to train 100 police officers nationwide to identify and investigate hate crimes against LGBT persons, to prevent crimes against LGBT persons, and to better communicate with the LGBT community.  I challenge you all, particularly government officials, to work for a Mongolia in which LGBT persons are able to enjoy their human rights fully and without fear.
Again, I offer my congratulations to everyone involved in making Mongolia’s first Pride Week possible.  I commend the organizers for their hard work and thank the donors for their support.  I wish you success over the coming week, and I look forward to our ongoing partnership to work toward an ever-more inclusive Mongolia.
Thank you.

Source:US Embassy to Mongolia


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