Remarks by Ambassador Scott C. Miller
June 11, 2022
Happy Pride everyone! Apologies for me having to speak in English. So, thank you for your patience. This is my first Pride this month and I can’t think of a more exciting opportunity than to celebrate it in Liechtenstein on your very first Pride. Congratulations, I’m so proud of you. This will be a memory that will forever mark my tenure as Ambassador.
Mr. Mayor, to my amazing diplomatic colleagues, and National Counselor, to be here with you today is a historic moment. As you all know, I come from a background of LGBT activism and philanthropy. To celebrate this day, with this group of people, is also an important moment for me. As I am the 16th LGBTQ identifying ambassador to represent the United States of America, it is not lost on me the progress that we have made not only in my country, but internationally.
Prior to my appointment as Ambassador, I worked as a philanthropist and activist on LGBT issues. I did that at my husband’s, our foundation. I had to resign in order to be Ambassador. So, it is still weird saying that I did work for the foundation. But, we worked tirelessly to create a world where everyone could be who they are and were afforded the same opportunities, regardless of who they are and who they love. It is because of that work, at the Gill foundation and my 20 years of activism, that I got to know President Joe Biden. I am here because of my activism on marriage, because of my activism for a more equal world.
While it may have been a little bit sad for me to have to resign from our foundation, obviously getting to represent those same values as Ambassador – to elevate my personal commitment to this issue and have this platform to represent not only what I believe in, but the United States abroad – is the honor of my lifetime.
When I met Joe Biden in 2012, he had gone on TV and spoke about his beliefs on marriage. His stance was important to me, not only because I am a gay man and because I was married – only in some states in the United States. But I wanted to meet him and become closer to him because he fundamentally understands that when we create a world where everyone is equal, the collective of all our potential can be realized. Because discrimination of any kind is bad. Discrimination because of not just sexual orientation and gender identity, but any discrimination of any kind is bad for society.
One of the components of my work in philanthropy and my work in the United States was the narrative of storytelling. Members of the LGBTQ community are part of our society. They are our family members. They are our neighbors. They are our coworkers. They are the barista who makes our coffee in the morning. They are the person who drives the train. They are our soldiers and police officers. And, there are some LGBT politicians who are fighting for our rights, as well.
It’s not until people realize the LGBTQI+ persons are not hidden, living in the shadows, but they are proud members of our society who we respect and interact with on a daily basis. They fight for the acknowledgement of their basic rights and freedoms. Once that societal shift happens, we will begin to see progress on equality.
But more importantly, we are here to celebrate Lichtenstein’s first Pride. And Pride Month represents so much to me, and to so many of you in this room. It stands for justice. It stands for truth. It stands for quality. It stands for courage. And above all, Pride stands for love – the right to love yourself for who you are and the right for you to love who you want to love.
Throughout my professional career, I have tirelessly fought for LGBTQI+ issues, and to weave it into the fabric of America. As a society, and international community, we have made great strides, but our work remains unfinished. That’s why I’m here today. Our work towards a more equal and equitable society continues. Despite the general acknowledgement that love is love, around the globe there are still people who cannot marry who they would like. There are still people who live in fear of being their authentic selves. There are still people who are denied basic human rights because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. That is unacceptable.
In the last 50 years, while we have made great strides, we cannot stop because there’s still so much work to be done. Thank you for sending a clear message by being here today: equality matters and discrimination has no place in our society.
So, with that, I would like to congratulate you on this historic occasion. I am immensely pleased to be able to represent the United States of America at Liechtenstein’s first Pride. Happy Pride everyone!