Speech/statement | Date: 02/07/2013
Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's speech at a reception in Oslo, on the occasion of Oslo Gay Pride 2013.
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First, thank you to Oslo Fagottkor and Ingrid Bjørnov.
You have really set the tone. Now it’s party time in Oslo!
And a warm welcome to you all!
I am delighted to have the chance to meet you.
You represent one of the great changes of our time.
A change from silence to openness.
From condemnation to recognition.
From concealment to pride.
For many of you it has been a painful journey.
A hard fight,
– and it has not yet been won,
but all the same:
There is a world of difference between the way homosexuality is viewed today and the way it was viewed just a few decades ago.
Together we have broken down barriers,
changed laws and realised fundamental rights.
Some say – it’s even been in the newspapers – that what I am most proud of as Prime Minister is the fiscal rule.
Well, I must confess that I am proud of the fiscal rule.
But I am even prouder of the fact that I was Prime Minister when Norway became one of the first countries to introduce legislation allowing everyone to marry the person they love.
This is about something far more important than money.
It is about respect for fundamental human values.
It is about human dignity.
That was why many tears were shed – by both gay people and straight people – the day you, Anders Rogg, married Yngvar Myrvold.
You were the first couple to be united under the new Marriage Act.
Since then, many lesbians and gay people have experienced the same joy.
Today marriages can be entered into on an equal basis by all.
Love – and love alone – is what matters.
For straight people.
For gay people.
I congratulate you – and all of us – on the fact that this is finally the case.
And the ruling of the US Supreme Court yesterday clears the way for this right to be enjoyed in the States too.
The world is moving forward.
I have found that it is precisely love that has been the driving force for those campaigning for gay rights.
Love for a son or daughter,
Love for a sister or brother,
Love for a partner.
Many of you here today have shown great personal courage.
You have ventured into unfamiliar places – and met prejudice and fear with wisdom and composure.
I admire you for that.
And, like you, I am happy to see that so many people today recognise the obvious:
That the love between any two people is equally valid and important.
Regardless of skin colour, gender or sexual orientation.
That is why we will never tolerate discrimination,
We will reject any attack on equality.
Whether triggered by prejudice in the name of God or spurred by a national stance.
We will not tolerate injustice.
Not in Norway. Nor in any other country.
The rights of gay people are – and will remain – inviolable.
Thank you for the colour and joy you bring to Oslo.
Your festival warms hearts,
and changes attitudes.
I wish you every success with this year’s Gay Pride festival in Oslo.