In the same week, the country's prime minister condemned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Michaela Morgan

5 Jul 2017 - 11:22 AM  UPDATED 5 Jul 2017 - 11:22 AM

The small island nation of Timor-Leste has held its first ever Pride parade, in what's being perceived as a huge step forward for LGBT+ rights in the country. 

The parade was held on June 29 and was supported by local youth organisation Hatutan, as well as international participants such as the United Nations and the United States Embassy in Dili

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The event attracted over 500 people, who marched on the streets of the capital, wearing rainbow coloured t-shirts and carrying a giant rainbow flag. 

Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo also made a statement last week, calling for people to "make the most of the independence we all fought for."

"Discrimination, disrespect and abuse towards people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity does not provide any benefit to our nation," he said.

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While same-sex sexual activity is legal in Timor-Leste, the LGBT+ community still has a long way to go in achieving equal rights.