US, COSTA RICA PRESIDENTS PAY TRIBUTE TO LGBTI COMMUNITY

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President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

The presidents of the United States and Costa Rica have commemorated Saturday’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

In statement issued on Friday through the White House, President Barack Obama said:

“…as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination — no matter who they are or whom they love.”

He went on to add: “At a time when, tragically, we are seeing increased efforts to criminalise or oppress LGBT persons, we call on partners everywhere to join us in defending the equal rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters, and in ensuring they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

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The rainbow flag flies outside Costa Rica’s Casa Presidencial

In his own show of support for LGBT equality, the recently inaugurated President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís, raised the rainbow flag together with the Costa Rican national flag on the lawn of the Casa Presidencial.

“This is the house of all Costa Ricans. When we say all Costa Ricans we mean all, without exclusion, without violence, without harassment in absolute respect for the rights of each one,” Solís told LGBT leaders and activists on the lawn on Friday morning, reports The Tico Times.

Legislation to recognise same-sex civil unions is currently being considered by Costa Rican lawmakers while the government has committed itself to ensure that same-sex couples secure property and inheritance rights, insurance benefits, and hospital visitation rights.

IDAHOT is commemorated around the globe every year on May 17 to honour the day that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation in 1990.

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