Each year, in June, the United States joins with people around the world in celebrating the work of those who champion protections and support for LGBT persons. These efforts are important – by expanding civil rights and enshrining equal protections, we are working to build freer and more just societies. In too many places, in too many parts of the world, LGBT individuals continue to face violence and discrimination for who they are and who they love. As President Obama has said, LGBT rights are human rights – and our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.
Even in times of crisis, we must ensure that the rights of vulnerable groups are not overlooked or ignored. Today and every day, the United States strongly supports those in Ukraine working to ensure that all people live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. This weekend, as Kyiv Pride marches in support of equality for LGBT persons in Ukraine, the United States stands with them.