Big in Japan


Democratic state Rep. Brian Sims, the first openly gay official elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, will be traveling to Japan this week to talk human rights.

The occasion: the 65th anniversary of the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights.

The place: the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

The host: newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy.

According to a press release from Sims' office, the Democrat from Philadelphia is scheduled to speak on issues of equality and human rights with students, activists, attorneys, academics and others while there. He will also travel to Osaka. 

“I am deeply honored that Ambassador Kennedy has asked me to participate in this historic occasion and represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at one of her first major events in Japan,” Sims said in a statement. “Freedom and equality are universal ideals, and I am eager to meet with and learn from our friends in Japan as we discuss human rights around the globe.”

Mason Lane, Sims' chief of staff, told my colleague Amy Worden that all expenses are being covered by the Embassy. He said the embassy reached out to Sims based on his work regionally and nationally for LGBT and equality issues.

-Angela Couloumbis


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