Statement from Director Aaron S. Williams on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

June 1, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2010 I am pleased to designate June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month at the Peace Corps. This month recognizes and honors the many contributions that gay and lesbian Americans have made in our workplace, communities, and country. The theme for this months observance is One heart, One world, One pride.

In 2000, President Clinton designated June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in Manhattan, the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

Over the past year the Peace Corps has continued to make strides towards building a more inclusive environment for our dedicated gay and lesbian Volunteers and staff. This year we officially recognized same-sex domestic partners as eligible family members for overseas staff, elevating their status from member of household. This change allows same-sex domestic partners to be included on travel orders and entitled to many of the same benefits married spouses receive.

During the month of June, please take the time to contemplate how we are all part of the same human family and how this years theme reflects Peace Corps own goals to promote cross-cultural understanding and bring people together.

In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, and on behalf of the Peace Corps, I extend my gratitude to LGBT Volunteers and staff for their efforts to foster world peace and friendship and fulfill the three goals of the Peace Corps.

As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 77 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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