On Saturday, June 21, Ambassador Emerson festively opened the 36th Berlin Christopher Street Gay Pride parade, which in 2014 attracted more than 500,000 visitors, participants, and spectators to the German capital. In his remarks, Ambassador Emerson highlighted the importance of ensuring the self-determination of sexual minorities and the value of diversity.
Under the slogan “LGBT Rights as Human Rights,” lesbians, gays, bi-, trans- as well as heterosexuals took to the streets in celebration of diversity, tolerance, and human rights and in support of a free and self-determined life for all citizens under the law. The U.S. Embassy in Berlin participated with an eye-catching float featuring the Statue of Liberty’s crown and a stage for U.S. soul singer Ingrid Arthur, who performed from the top of the float, accompanied by individuals representing the Chrysler Building as well as the Empire State Building. While marching through the streets of Berlin, employees of the U.S. Mission to Germany, their relatives, and friends carried signs brandishing images and slogans similar to those used during the first Christopher Street Day parade, held in 1970. 2014 marked the third year of the U.S. Embassy’s participation in the parade, which underlines the Obama administration’s support for the overall LGBT cause.