The U.S. State Department says Pakistan
did not file an official complaint over a Gay Pride event held at the
U.S. Embassy in Islamabad last month.
The June 26 event was co-hosted by the
U.S. deputy ambassador, Richard Hoagland, and the affinity group Gays
and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), and was attended
by over 75 people, including U.S. Embassy officials, military
representatives, foreign diplomats and leaders of the Pakistani LGBT
advocacy groups, the Associated Press reported.
According to the United Nations, gay
sex is illegal in Pakistan and offenders face up to 2 years
The event sparked several
demonstrations critical of the move and was condemned by a group of
conservative Islamic political and religious officials.
“Such people are the curse of society
and social garbage,” the group said in a statement. “They don't
deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani, and the support and protection
announced by the U.S. administration for them is the worst social and
cultural terrorism against Pakistan.”
Hoagland told the crowd at the meeting
that the U.S. would support LGBT rights in the country.
“I want to be clear: the U.S. Embassy
is here to support you and stand by your side every step of the way,”
Hoagland reportedly said.
In a statement issued Friday, State
Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the Pakistani government
had not complained about the event.
“On June 26, the United States
Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan hosted a gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender (GLBT) Pride event. This gathering, attended by U.S.
Mission personnel, representatives of the diplomatic community, and
Pakistani civil society leaders, demonstrated continued U.S. Embassy
support for human rights, including GLBT rights, in Pakistan. We
have not received any official complaint from the Pakistani
government over the event.”