It is a "credit to Israel" that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community are secure, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said on Thursday.
Speaking at a reception in his official residence on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), Shapiro said during the event that [US President Barack Obama has "declared that ‘the United States stands proudly with those nations that are standing up to intolerance, discrimination, and homophobia.""We’re proud to stand with all of you in Israel – Jews and Arabs, religious, secular and progressive, Muslim and Christian – who have helped to ensure the inclusion of sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws, the recognition of same-sex couples, and the inclusion of gays in the military," Shapiro announced.
Extending his gratitude to Israel, Shapiro added: "Throughout the world, human rights defenders are fighting for these very rights, and it is a credit to Israel and to all of you that here those rights are secure."
Guests at the event represented a mix of local and national government members, Knesset members who have participated in Knesset events to promote gay pride, NGO representatives, diplomats, artists and entertainers, business owners, and the press.