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US Ambassador to Costa Rica: Embassy will remain at forefront of LGBT issues

The newly arrived U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, S. Fitzgerald Haney, said that the U.S. Embassy in San José would remain at the “forefront” of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues during his term.

The Nashville, Tennessee native Stafford Fitzgerald Haney gave his first press conference Tuesday after presenting his credentials to Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González. He arrived in Costa Rica with his family on Sunday.

In addition to LGBT issues, Haney addressed the United States and Costa Rica’s long history and mutual cooperation on climate change, security and economic development.

“It was a historic week. Honestly, it’s a week that took too long to arrive in the United States,” Haney told a group of reporters Tuesday afternoon, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. “It’s part of who we are as a nation.”

Haney’s flight was landing as a group from the embassy including Consul General Margaret Pride marched in San José’s pride parade on Sunday.

“The Untied States Embassy in Costa Rica was once again at the Diversity March,” tweeted the embassy.

Haney thanked President Barack Obama for nominating him to care for one of the United States’ most “important, enduring and stable” relationships in Latin America.

The ambassador called Costa Rica a regional leader and said that the United States could take some pointers from the Central American nation on climate change prevention and environmental protection. Security, economic development, the fight against drug trafficking, energy and the environment are all areas for cooperation between the countries, he said.

Said the new ambassador: “A safe, prosperous and sustainable Costa Rica benefits the citizens of both our countries.”

See: PHOTOS: Costa Rica’s pride marchers hopeful after US gay marriage decision

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