June 26, 2019
Remarks by Deputy Director Raymond Greene
at AIT’s LGBTQ Pride Month Reception
Wednesday, June 26
Good afternoon everyone! Legislator Yu [Yu Mei-nu], Legislator Yu [Karen Yu], leaders and members of Taiwan’s LGBT community, their friends, allies, and supporters, thank you for joining us on this special day. It is a pleasure to welcome such a beautiful, diverse group to AIT for our very first LGBTQ community event in AIT’s new office.
Today, during America’s Pride Month, we celebrate two important human rights milestones: it was this very day four years ago on June 26 that the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage in the United States is a right guaranteed by our Constitution. Nearly four years later, with the entire world watching, Taiwan’s legislature became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. This is a momentous achievement. I would like to congratulate the people of Taiwan for working to ensure fundamental human rights and civil liberties for everyone, no matter who you are.
AIT has been right beside the people of Taiwan on your march to marriage equality. We have been there with you at Taipei Pride Parades to advocate for LGBTQ rights, we have been with you on social media to raise awareness for queer issues, and we were with you on the streets last month to celebrate the passage of marriage equality here. As the people of the United States and Taiwan continue to work side-by-side to protect the human rights of LGBTQ persons and to address the work that remains to done – including non-discrimination legislation in the United States and, in Taiwan, important issues such as adoption rights – AIT will continue to be with you every step of the way.
During this Pride Month, we should take pride in knowing that our free and democratic systems enshrine inalienable rights and liberties and treat all humans as equals. We frequently talk about how the United States and Taiwan share many common values. Well, with Taiwan’s introduction of marriage equality, we now share a new special bond: our common belief, and our affirmation in law, that love should always win.
These shared values are what underpin the strong ties between the people of the United States and Taiwan, and they are what will bring our people and yours closer together. It heartens me and all of the AIT community to know that our friends in Taiwan have made this incredible stride forward in the quest for equal rights.
Thank you to the AIT chapter of the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, the Community Liaison Office, and all the volunteers for bringing us together today to mark this occasion. Let us continue to advance human rights together, and let us take this moment to celebrate the human rights work we have done! Thank you.