South Florida

150 New Citizens Welcomed in Ceremony Celebrating LGBT Pride Month

A group of over 100 immigrants became naturalized citizens Friday in South Florida.

Hailing from countries ranging from Cuba to Germany to Haiti, 150 people took the Oath of Allegiance at a special ceremony at the USCIS Kendall Field Office.

The keynote speaker of the ceremony was Steve Rothaus, the LGBTQ issues reporter for The Miami Herald. He's speaking because June is LGBTQ month. LGBT Month is a month-long celebration and observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay rights and related civil right movement.

"It's very important that the people who come to the United States have an understanding of how we do things here," Rothaus said. "The agreements and the disagreements that we have."

One of the disagreements Rothaus talks about is the difference in cultures from other countries when it comes to LGBTQ rights.

"Perhaps the country where they came from LGBT people may be persecuted," he said. "The governments may actually execute people for being LGBTQ."

As families become citizens of the United States, many will now have the freedoms that they might have never had. This might be for some it will be a culture shock for some, but Rothaus wants newcomers to this country to not only be tolerant and understanding of the rights of others, but something bigger than that.

"Embrace them in terms of who they are, that they have the same rights, same responsibilities that they have, especially now that they're new citizens," Rothaus said.

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