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THAILAND - Nov 16, 2004

Bangkok Deputy Governor, Dr. Pensri Pichaisanit, delivered an inspiring proclaimation from the Governor and officiated at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the start of Bangkok Pride Week 2004 on Nov 14 at the annual gay fun fair in Lumpini Park.

The following is a translation of her speech:

"To the chairman of Bangkok Pride and the board of Homosexual Group for Thai Politics, and ladies and gentlemen, both Thai and foreigners:

"On behalf of Bangkok Governor, Apirak Kosayodhin, I would like to congratulate gay organizations gathering here to arrange activities for society which encourage a loving mind and pride in your self-identity. When you come to love yourself, good thoughts and actions will lead your life to a destination which results in good both for yourself, your family, and society.

"Another important objective of this event is to create love and understanding between general society and gay groups which reduces the social gap and encourages acceptance of equal human rights, which is very important because we all live in the same country and we’re all Thai. Accepting each other without sexual obstacles will let us live together happily. This Bangkok Pride Week will give society more knowledge and understanding to positively appreciate homosexuals.

"I really admire knowing that money from this event will be given to organizations and charities such as Alden House, Bangkok Rainbow Organization, Rainbow Sky Society, etc. This shows that whatever group one belongs to we all have the responsibility to help each other. With this good effort I believe society will start to accept homosexual people more and more in the future.

"I wish that this festival, continuing until the parade on Silom Road, will be as successful as everyone expects."

For pictures and a report from the Bangkok Pride Festival kick-off, please click here.

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