Peter Tatchell: David Cameron should speak out about homophobia before Commonwealth Games

A protest will be held outside Downing Street next week Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics GayHomophobiaPeter TatchellHomosexualityprotestRightsgroupGlasgowcriminalisedCommonwealth GamesEdward SesangeDiamond Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

Peter Tatchell has called on David Cameron to speak out about homophobia in the Commonwealth, ahead of the Commonwealth Games next week.

A rally will be held outside Downing Street on Wednesday, organised by African LGBTI Out & Proud Diamond Group, and supported by the Peter Tatchell Foundation, to protest continuing anti-gay laws.

42 of the 53 Commonwealth member countries currently criminalise homosexuality, with penalties up to life imprisonment in at least seven member states.

Tatchell said: “We are appealing to Prime Minister David Cameron to speak out against homophobia and transphobia in the Commonwealth in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games.

“We also want him to express his public support for Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games Federation constitution, which prohibits any form of discrimination – including discrimination in athlete selection for the national teams.

“Given the extreme homophobia and transphobia in most Commonwealth countries, it is very unlikely that most national selection committees would allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or inter-sex (LGBTI) athlete to compete at Glasgow.

“David Cameron can help by making clear that such discrimination is incompatible with Commonwealth Games values and rules.

“We want the Prime Minister to give a lead and set a positive tone by publicly declaring that anti-LGBT persecution is a violation of the Commonwealth Charter and that LGBTI athletes will be welcome in Glasgow.

“He should make clear that the UK government is willing to give asylum to LGBTI athletes who are at risk of victimisation in their county of origin.”

Edwin Sesange of the Diamond Group said: “Far from moving towards equality, we have seen many Commonwealth countries witch-hunt their LGBTI citizens and even tougher anti-gay laws have been recently legislated in countries like Uganda, Brunei and Nigeria.

“Britain imposed most of the existing anti-gay laws in Commonwealth nations when it was the colonial power in the nineteenth century. Homosexuality was not illegal in these countries prior to British colonisation.

“Britain has been part of the problem. Therefore it should be part of the solution by challenging homophobia and transphobia in the Commonwealth. David Cameron should show leadership by taking a stand against the victimisation of LGBTI people and promoting the universal human rights values of the Commonwealth Charter.”

The Commonwealth Games begin next Wednesday, July 23.

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Chris Christie: Republicans should continue to fight against same-sex marriage

Chris Christie says Republicans shouldn’t give up fighting same-sex marriage Share on WhatsApp 7 reader comments

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has urged his party to continue to fight against same-sex marriage, despite admitting defeat himself last year.

Christie had stringently opposed same-sex marriage in New Jersey, but abandoned his court challenge in October after a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court struck down its same-sex marriage ban.

He conceded at the time: “Chief Justice Rabner left no ambiguity about the unanimous court’s view on the ultimate decision in this matter when he wrote,

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Social workers ‘should be more political in tackling inequality’

The conference’s opening keynote speaker discussed social work and climate change. Photograph: Nati Harnik/AP

Social workers have been urged to take a more political stance when addressing inequalities.

Gary Bailey, the president of the InternationalFederation of Social Workers, told conference delegates that professionals around the globe are being affected by economic and social inequity.

Speaking at the opening day of the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development in Melbourne on Wednesday, Bailey said the profession had worked diligently to to help individuals and communities affected by the global economic crisis.

Social workers had seen “draconian” spending cuts and austerity measures imposed in many countries, affecting the most vulnerable people.

“The rich are getting richer, while the poor and middle class suffer,” he added.

Bailey called for social workers to push themselves to find creative, community driven responses to tackle widening inequality.

He told delegates: “We have to become more political and wehave to engage ourselves fully in these processes.”

More than 700 speakers will explore the conference theme of promoting social and economic equality over the next four days.

Prof Lou Harms, who chaired the local programme committee for the conference, described the event as an “intellectual speed dating experience”.

Julie Watkins, of the InternationalAssociation of Schools of Social Work, called for social workers and their educators to “unite and celebrate our solidarity”.

She said Barack Obama has referred to inequality as “the definingchallenge of our time”. But, Watkins added: “It is also the defining opportunity of our time.”

Although most people suffering from inequality livein developing countries, she said inequality was also becoming more visible in developed countries, especially in Europe.

“Social workers across the world have tostress that income is not the only indicator of inequalities,” she said.

Sergei Zelenev, executive director of the International Council on Social Welfare, said equality remains only a dream for many people

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Boris Johnson: We should celebrate Pride in London but be aware there is more to be done

Mayor of London Boris Johnson (Image: Andrew Parsons) Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics PrideBoris JohnsonMayor of LondonPride in LondonBoris 5 reader comments

Writing exclusively for PinkNews, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, celebrates Pride in London, but says there is still more to be done to tackle hate crimes.

I am delighted to support London’s Pride in London celebrations, which are amongst the biggest, brightest and best events that our city hosts. It is an important celebration that I want to see grow, for Londoners of course, but also as a major event that attracts people from around the world. This year, TfL is even installing London’s first ever rainbow coloured zebra crossing to add to the festivities.

The capital is of course home to one of the largest, most visible and most diverse LGBT populations in the world, individuals involved in all walks of life. From the arts and the media, to sports and business, they are making a huge contribution to our city’s success, socially, culturally and economically.

The increasing visibility of LGBT people is testament to London’s status as one of the most LGBT friendly cities. This is something to be cherished, but we cannot be complacent. Recent homophobic attacks show there is more to be done. Hate crimes like this generate fear, which is why it is so important that LGBT people have the confidence to report them, knowing they will be taken seriously and that such incidents will be pursued relentlessly by the police.

My Police and Crime Plan makes dealing with hate crime, including against LGBT people, a priority and we’ve already delivered on a commitment to work with the Met to ensure that there is a designated LGBT liaison officer for every borough.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) has spent the last few months consulting with key partners on a new hate crime reduction strategy. My Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, will be talking about this when he attends Pride in London this Saturday, ahead of a wider public consultation.

I am committed to ensuring London stays at the forefront of LGBT equality. There is more to be done and my office will continue to work with the police and the LGBT community to tackle prejudice and show that discrimination has no place in a city like ours. Have a fabulous Pride and let’s celebrate London as city in which everyone has the FREEDOM TO be open about who they are.

Have a very happy Pride!

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London.

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