In recognition of LGBTI month and in honor of the World Pride 2017 celebration in Madrid, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Kris Urs, hosted a reception at his residence. Actng Cultural Affairs Officer Ryan Matheny, along with the Chargé d’Affaires, recognized the work done by the city of Madrid to celebrate World Pride 2017, and welcomed the next World Pride 2019 which will take place in New York City.
During his remarks, Matheny referenced the words of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about LGBTI month, when he said that “the Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom. We also recognize that LGBTI persons continue to face the threat of violence and discrimination. Violence and discrimination targeting any vulnerable group undermines our collective security as well as American values.”
Chargé d’Affaires Urs spoke about the growth of the LGBTI movement throughout the years and recognized the work of activists that have fought for LGBTI rights for many years. Urs reaffirmed that “The struggle for LGBTI rights has always been a movement of individuals standing up to demand freedom and equality, and groups of such individuals banding together toward a common purpose. The hardest fought gains were won through individual acts of courage.”