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    International Pride

    The State of New York this year is hosting the largest international celebration of LGBT Pride in history: Stonewall50. This is possible, in part, because the majority of North America’s 23 countries have increasingly recognized the rights of LGBTQ people throughout recent years. As a result, representatives of several of these nations will be present at the 2019 San Francisco Pride Parade. Two of the most prominent groups will be from Canada and Mexico. We therefore asked our city’s Consul Generals from these nations to contribute to this special Pride issue of the San Francisco Bay Times.  

     


    Statement by Rana Sarkar, Consul General of Canada in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, on the occasion of San Francisco Pride 2019

    Respect for all human rights is a central tenet of Canada’s domestic and foreign policy. As such, Canada advocates strongly in support of the rights of LGBTQ2 persons, both at home and abroad. We affirm that human rights principles are universal and unalienable, and that states must respect the human rights of everyone, including LGBTQ2 persons. No one should be subjected to discrimination or violence because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics. Diversity is our strength!

    Canada’s international reputation as a leader in relation to LGBTQ2 rights is reflected in its progressive domestic legislation and policies affecting LGBTQ2 persons. It is also a product of Canada’s multifaceted efforts to promote the human rights of LGBTQ2 persons in the global sphere. These efforts include advocacy in multilateral and bilateral fora, collaboration with civil society organizations, and funding for LGBTQ2-related international assistance projects. Canada is committed to fight hatred, honor love, and defend human rights for everyone.
    While recognizing that countries are at different stages, Canada calls on all states to eliminate laws and policies that discriminate against persons based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to combat all acts of violence targeted towards LGBTQ2 persons. Together, we can build a world where all of us are free to be who we are and love who we love.
    The Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco supports LGBTQ2 organizations throughout Northern California. We also are proud to again join the Consulate General of Mexico in marching in the 2019 San Francisco Pride Parade—a strong sign of North American solidarity. The commitment of Canada and Mexico to diversity and inclusion isn’t about being nice and polite—though of course we are. In fact, this commitment is a powerful and ambitious approach to making North America, and the world, a better and safer place.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed that no matter who we love or how we identify, all of us deserve to feel safe and secure, live free from discrimination and persecution, and express ourselves fully. Canadians fully support gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation rights for people in Canada and around the world, and to challenge stigma, violence, and prejudices wherever they occur. We must continue to fight against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, and to defend gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation rights.
    Canada has a role to play in these celebrations and action. As the Bay Area Council Economic Institute noted in their recent Hemispheric Partners ( https://bit.ly/2ICYWzG ) report, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley continue to play a vital role for Canada as a global economic hub and technology connector. This role is supported by an alignment of Canadian values and priorities with those of the Bay Area and California.
    We are proud to participate in the Pride season in San Francisco, and intertwine our efforts with the rich history of LGBTQ2 activism and inclusion in this city.

    Happy Pride 2019!
     


    Statement for Pride 2019 from the Consul General of Mexico and the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, San Francisco

    The Consulate General of Mexico is joining the LBGTQ Pride month celebrations and will participate with a contingent that will [be in the] parade on Sunday, June 30th, alongside the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco to show the unity and commitment with the respect of human rights in the North America Region.

    Observing instructions of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, the Consulate General of Mexico has focused its efforts on promoting policies to eradicate discrimination and to provide the Mexican LBGTQ communities in the Bay Area a safe and inclusive space for consular services and embracing the diversity of our community and their many contributions to the society and culture of our country.

    Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco, Remedios Gómez Arnau, stated: “In line with the actions of Mexico’s Federal Government, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco reaffirms its commitment to advance in our goal of promoting an inclusive society that respects everyone’s rights and does not discriminate anyone on the basis of sexual orientation.”

    The Consulate has been implementing concrete policies in order to support Mexican LBGTQ population in San Francisco:

    • On May 17th, 2019, as we celebrated the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the Mexican Consular network integrated by 50 Consulates in the U.S. has received the authorization to celebrate same sex marriages between Mexicans in its offices, taking an important step in the right direction.
    • The Consulate’s staff has also received training about how to properly serve members of the Mexican and in general LBGTQ communities.
    • In this sense, in the day to day activities, the staff is inclusive and respectful, explaining that the Consulate is a safe space and their identities are respected and protected, regardless of that person’s legal name or physical appearance.
    • The Protection and Legal Affairs Department has a close relationship with several non-governmental and nonprofit organizations that support LBGTQ communities and rights, such as El/La Para Translatinas.
    • The Consulate has participated in the San Francisco Pride Parade for two consecutive years. This will be the third year and the second one where it will march together with the Consulate General of Canada.
    • The Consulate supports the promotion of Latino and Mexican LGBTQ forms of art and this year has the honor of co-present[ing] 4 Mexican films that will be featured at the Frameline Festival, the most important and largest LBGTQ film festival in the U.S, which will run until June 30th.