As U.S. Ambassador to China, I am proud to mark this year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – a day to pause and reflect on the need to combat discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
The last 12 months have marked tremendous progress in the United States for LGBT individuals. Just last June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld same-sex couples’ right to marry. As Justice Anthony Kennedy said, what LGBT individuals seek is merely “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” Truth be told, over the last 20 years our views have evolved dramatically as a country. I am encouraged that a growing number of Chinese citizens support efforts to combat discrimination against the LGBT community.
I also have been heartened to see the work of so many passionate Chinese LGBT advocacy organizations. They work tirelessly to uphold the rights of LGBT individuals and speak out about the challenges of finding acceptance and fighting discrimination.
But there is still more to be done. And so, today, we take a moment to reflect on how we all can come together to protect vulnerable populations, including LGBT persons in China, the United States, and around the world. I hope we can all examine what more we can all do to end violence and discrimination against our LGBT neighbors, co-workers, and fellow citizens.