Shadow Foreign Minister: Philip Hammond must stand up for LGBT rights as Foreign Secretary

Kerry McCarthy says Philip Hammond must prove that he can stand up for LGBT rights as Foreign Secretary Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Share on WhatsApp 1 reader comment

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Minister Kerry McCarthy writes for PinkNews on the appointment of Philip Hammond as Foreign Secretary, and states that he must prove he can stand up for LGBT rights abroad.

The immediate reaction to Philip Hammond’s appointment as Foreign Secretary has largely been seen through the prism of Europe, and what it will mean for the Prime Minister’s already discredited approach to our EU allies.

But important as it is, reform of the EU is not the only task on the new Foreign Secretary’s to-do list.

His predecessor, William Hague, rightly received cross-party praise and credit for bringing together politicians and activists from across the globe for his Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict summit in London last month. He succeeded in building not only political momentum, but also civic action in support.

Many activists and campaigners will be watching closely to see if Phillip Hammond champions this vital cause with similar zeal. With this and other key issues, he clearly has a lot to prove in the remaining ten months before the general election.

One of the reasons for much of the concern is Phillip Hammond’s recent track record on LGBT equality at home in the UK.

He refused to support last year’s landmark legislation on same sex marriage, or civil partnerships 10 years ago, or the repeal of Section 28 before that. He also voted against enabling same sex couples to adopt, and against equalising the age of consent.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has moved forward leaps and bounds in recent years in promoting LGBT rights around the world, particularly as a result of Labour’s introduction of the FCO’s annual human rights report.

It is credit to the work of successive Foreign Secretaries that highlighting discrimination and prejudice against the LGBT community has become an essential part of the FCO’s human rights work.

So, like his voting record, it will undoubtedly cause concern that the new Foreign Secretary has spoken out against same-sex marriage, saying the Government’s same sex marriage bill caused

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Anti-gay former French National Front candidate jailed for racist remarks against minister

The post compared Justice Minister Christiane Taubira to a chimpanzee Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Share on WhatsApp 13 reader comments

A former candidate of the homophobic French Front National (FN) has been sentenced to nine months in jail for comparing a black Justice Minister to a chimpanzee.

France’s Justice Minister Christiane Taubira last year faced legal action from the FN for saying the group is racist and homophobic.

She made the remarks in response to Anne-Sophie Leclere, an FN candidate who was then standing in a small town in the north-eastern Ardennes region, and who posted images on her Facebook page of a baby chimpanzee, with the caption:

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US: Retired United Methodist minister sets himself on fire to protest against racism, homophobia

Reverend Charles Moore committed suicide a few weeks before his 80th birthday. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics Gay rightsChristianTexassuicideracismequal rightsCivil RightsmethodistReverend Charles Mooreself-immolationanti-homophobia protest Share on WhatsApp 14 reader comments

Family and colleagues of a retired United Methodist minister who set himself on fire to protest against racism and homophobia have spoken about his life-long fight for equal rights.

The Rev. Charles Moore, 79, committed suicide on 23 June, having driven across Texas to his childhood home of Grand Saline, before dousing himself with gasoline and lighting himself on fire.

Moore chose Grand Saline for the negative memories it held of racism and prejudice, and particular of lynching, which he witnessed as a boy.

Although he spent much of his early life fighting racial segregation, in later life he directed his attention first against the death penalty and then to combating prejudice within the Methodist church against gays and lesbians.

In the 1990s, he took an active role in encouraging gay Christians to join his own congregation, and in challenging the prejudices of an aging church-going population for whom religious condemnation of homosexuality was the norm. He promoted gay members to leadership positions within his church.

A colleague, the Rev. Sid Hall, described Moore as having

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Michael Cashman: It is ‘deeply worrying’ that Nicky Morgan has been appointed as equalities minister

Michael Cashman said Nicky Morgan’s appointment was ‘deeply worrying’ Share on WhatsApp 13 reader comments

Former Labour MEP Michael Cashman has slammed the appointment of Nicky Morgan as minister for women and equalities and education secretary, saying it is “deeply worrying”.

On Tuesday, David Cameron appointed Nicky Morgan as the new Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities.

She is now responsible for schools and the government’s overall strategy on equality. The MP voted against same-sex marriage last year.

Stonewall founder Mr Cashman, who retired as an MEP earlier this month, tweeted to question the appointment: “Nicky Morgan in charge of education and equalities is deeply worrying. The true nature of the Tory party is unchanged and reverting to type.”

Nicky Morgan in charge of education & equalities is deeply worrying. The true nature of the Tory party is unchanged & reverting to type.

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Jersey: Same-sex marriage delayed, as minister claims it would have ‘unintended consequences’

The consultation will take place before 31 December Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics equal marriagegay marriagemarriage equalitysame sex marriagemarriagegay weddingSame-sex weddingweddinglesbian weddinglesbian marriageCivil partnerships Share on WhatsApp 6 reader comments

A bill to allow same-sex marriage in Jersey has been stalled, as States members approved an amendment meaning a “detailed study” must take place.

The amendment was tabled by Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand, who said same-sex marriage could potentially have “unintended consequences.”

It was passed with 24 votes to 18, and the amended bill passed with 39 votes to 1.

The Chief Minister must now conduct the consultation, however critics accused the amendment of being simply a delaying topic. Some said it could become a divisive issue during October’s general election.

Le Marquand said: “It is a highly significant matter we are debating here,” said Senator Le Marquand, who is not standing for re-election.

“I am passionate about marriage and I do not want anything, no matter how well meaning, to water it down.

“It is frankly insulting to the people of Jersey, whatever side of the argument, for us to be making a snap decision.”

Trans

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Italy: Interior Minister ‘open’ to gay civil unions, but remains against equal marriage and adoption

Angelino Alfano suggested he would support civil unions for gay couples Share on WhatsApp 4 reader comments

In a mixed bag of comments on Thursday, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, appeared to suggest he was “open” to the idea of introducing civil partnerships, including for gay couples.

Despite insisting that such a move be made “on condition that the value of the family, made up of a man and a woman, is not denied”, Alfano suggested that civil unions could be an option.

In the interview with La Repubblica, he said:  “In the context of the civil code, we have no difficulty reasoning about a matter that exists, namely the protection of people living together, including gays.”

He did go on, however, to state continued opposition to same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption, saying:  “No to gay marriage, no to adoption by gay couples or surrogacy, no to pension reversibility.”

The comments by Alfano were hailed by Laura Cantini, a Democratic Party senator, who said that “all the conditions” were in place to “rapidly” introduce civil unions.

The leader of the Socialist Party Riccardo Nencini, went even further to call on the Italian Parliament to discuss “third generation civil rights”, in a broader sense, saying Italy was “guiltily behind” on some issues.

A spokesman for Italy’s Gay Centre, however, criticised the comments, suggesting they were more negative than positive.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last week signalled his support for the gay rights movement, reversing his previous stance.

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Israel: Knesset Deputy Speaker defends Education Minister over ‘gay couples aren’t families’ remarks

Moshe Feiglin is a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, whilst Shai Piron belongs to Yesh Atid, in coalition with the Likud party. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics IsraelKnessetLikudPironFeiglinmedia backlash 2 reader comments

The Deputy Speaker of Israel’s Knesset has said that the Education Minister was wrong to apologise for claiming that same-sex couples are not families, and has lashed out at “the dominant voice among homosexuals… of censorship”.

Israel’s Minister of Education, Shai Piron, yesterday apologised for saying last week:

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