Dear organizers of this year’s ILGA annual Conference, dear Mayor Yiorgos Kaminis, kali spera, dear activists, participants, honorable guests,
Let me start by thanking you for your invitation and your warm welcome. I feel very honoured to have the opportunity to speak here at this opening reception of this year’s ILGA Conference. I often travel to Greece, because I feel so much at home in this wonderful country. And I hope, so do you. I have also been a supporter of equal rights for lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersexual people all my political life. So what can I say? I am delighted and thrilled to be here.
The German Federal Minister for Family Affairs and Gender Equality, Manuela Schwesig, has also asked me to pass on her warmest greetings to all of you. LGBTI issues are important matters for her as well. For the first time ever, our ministry has set up a working unit which exclusively focuses on LGBTI issues and rights. We are proud to have this unit because it puts LGBTI subjects where they belong — on the top of the political agenda.