For the first time, the consulates of the European Union in Atlanta will march together at the Atlanta Pride Festival Oct. 13.
The diplomatic offices of Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland and the Netherlands banded together to support the 49th annual march, which they said shows the city’s long history of fighting against discrimination of LGBTI+ people.
The Greek consulate issued a statement around the move on behalf of the six countries:
As members of the European Union, we reject and condemn acts of violence and discrimination in all regions of the world, committed against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
We advocate for the respect of LGBTI+ rights and equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation. We encourage further steps in every country to ensure the equality and dignity of all human beings and we welcome positive developments at the international, national and regional level. We believe that celebrating diversity is a sure way to promote respect for human rights.
Irish Consul General Shane Stephens is now the dean of the consular corps, and the Irish consulate will host events around the festival including the Oct. 14 film screening of “Queen of Ireland,” followed by a discussion with LGBTQ+ activist Rory O’Neill.
Dutch Consul General Ard Van der Vorst, who arrived in Atlanta with his husband late last year, is prioritizing LGBTQ rights in his posting. Mr. Van der Vorst will speak on the Netherlands’ Pride outreach as one topic during a Global Atlanta Consular Conversation luncheon interview Nov. 13. Learn more and sign up here
Notably absent from the press statement was the United Kingdom, which remains a member of the EU for the time being but is embroiled in the process of hammering out a contentiousexit agreement with the bloc. New Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson is threatening to leave by the end of this month without a deal if necessary.
The British Consulate General in Atlanta has hosted its own pride events for five years and will continue to do so this year. Instructions on how to join the British march can be found here.