Monday, June 13, 2011

Amb. Polt's Comments for Baltic Pride 2011

Comments for Baltic Pride 2011 Rottermann Square

Ambassador Michael C. Polt

June 11, 2011

Good afternoon. My wife and I are delighted to be here with representatives of the Estonian government and my British colleague to help open this finale of Baltic Pride 2011. My Embassy is pleased to be a sponsor of this event.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made LGBT Rights a part of the routine work of the U.S. Government. In addition to achievements such as ending the "don't ask, don't tell policy" in the U.S. military, they have also both been outspoken on importance of ending discrimination and violence against LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world.

Several months ago, President Obama and Secretary Clinton each appeared in videos for the "It Gets Better Campaign" to provide reassurance to LGBT young people struggling with their sexual orientation and considering suicide. At the Diversity in Riches Conference a few days ago here in Tallinn, a participant asked that the U.S. translate these videos into local languages for vulnerable young people who don't speak English.

I am pleased to say that U.S. Embassy Tallinn has translated Secretary Clinton's "It Gets Better" video into Estonian. You can now see the video with Estonian subtitles on the U.S. Embassy Facebook page; or on our website at I encourage you to forward it to friends and colleagues and especially to anyone who might have contact with vulnerable youth.

In the coming week, we will also release Secretary Clinton's video with Russian subtitles and President Obama's video with both Estonian and Russian subtitles.

I congratulate Estonian Gay Youth and the other organizers of this important event and I applaud the Estonian government and the people of Estonia for their efforts on behalf of tolerance, fairness and dignity for all.

Thank you and all the best for Baltic Pride.

You can see some photos from the event here.

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