Kolkata American Center marks LGBT Pride Month

Last Updated: Sat, Jun 29, 2013 02:44 hrs

As celebrations continued in the U.S. over Wednesday's Supreme Court verdict in favour of gay marriage, the American Center in Kolkata held a workshop to deliver the message of 'Sex Equality' on the occasion of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month on Friday.

Around 50 LGBT youths, some with support from their parents participated in the event to raise their voice against sexual discrimination here.

The youths delivered the message through different types of art created in the form of quotes, paintings etc., at the workshop.

A same-sex relationship based short feature-film, ´I am Omar´ by Indian filmmaker, Onir was screened as a curtain raiser for the Pride Workshop on LGBT rights movement.

"The American Center´s Pride Month events include not only the LGBT community but students, young people and civil society at large. We want to bring diverse groups together to discuss the challenges and successes that the LGBT community faces," said Deputy Director of the American Center, Rachel Sunden.

She said it is crucial for everyone to know that LGBT rights are human rights.

Director of the American Center and Public Affairs Officer, Jeffrey K. Reneau said, "The United States will continue to stand up for the human rights of all people, during this month and every month throughout the year, and we are proud to do so."

The American Center will screen the film Milk, a cinematic rendition of the life of California´s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk on July 5.

Amir said, "If we move away from the urban scenario these LGBT people are not even aware of their rights."

"All those discussions and efforts should not only be limited to the urban circle. We need to take our voice in remote areas," he said.

A candle march is scheduled to be held on June 30 to raise a voice and awareness against violence and the rights of the LGBT community.

The workshop in Kolkata came even as people supporting gay marriage across United States hit the streets celebrating the Supreme Court´s decision on Wednesday supporting same-sex marriage.

The US Supreme Court in its ruling urged the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages wherever it is legal and also legitimized same-sex marriages in California.

"Human rights and fundamental freedoms belong to all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Secretary of State, John Kerry in his video message.

He added, "Protecting universal human rights is at the very heart of United States diplomacy. In the month of June, the Department of State joins people around the world in celebrating LGBT Pride Month.

(Reporting by Devashish Sarkar)

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