New Delhi: Senior representatives of foreign missions, including Britain, Canada, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the US, as also the European Union (EU), gathered here on Friday to reaffirm their strong commitment to equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexed (LGBTI) citizens.
“We are not asking for any special rights for LGBTI citizens but basic human rights,” said EU delegation to India counsellor Thibault Devanlay.
Devanlay talked about his own sexuality saying, “I was open as a gay man when I joined the ministry and was harrassed by my boss. The entire administration fought for my rights and not for my boss.”
Spanish Political Counsellor Beatriz Lorenzo said that she was shocked to see the 2015 “reports that 40 percent people below the age of 17 had committed suicide because they were homosexuals”.
“There is 80 percent acceptance of LGBT community in Spain. A lot has been done and there is a lot that needs to be done. A lot of trans-phobia and homophobia needs to change,” she added, at the event hosted by the American Center here.
From criminalization of homosexuality to legalization of same sex marriage, many countries have been able to provide the community a right to be treated without discrimination. 
“In 2009, gender neutral marriage became legal in Norway,” said Norwegian Head of Political Affairs, Baard Hjelde. 
“Since 2001, Germany has been granting almost equal rights to same sex couples,” said German Secretary of Industrial Affairs Bjorn Grozinger.
“Legislation to allow same-sex marriage in Britain was passed in 2014,” said British Deputy High Commissioner Jess Dutton.
All delegates expressed their condolences to those impacted by the deadly nightclub shooting that took place on June 12 in Orlando, Florida.
“At home, and increasingly abroad, many countries support, organise, or participate in events to celebrate the diversity of their citizens, to reduce discrimination and misinformation about the LGBTI community,” said US Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Peletier.
“Diverse celebrations will foster a sense of community and belonging, and help to advance human rights for all throughout the world,” Peletier concluded. 

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