Britain pledges to keep fighting for LGBT rights abroad

Annual report on human rights and democracy outlines steps UK took to promote LGBT rights abroad

Britain will continue fighting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights around the globe despite a backlash for some countries.

That’s the pledge the Foreign and Commonwealth Office gave Gay Star News as it released an annual report on human rights.

The report on human rights and democracy was launched by foreign minister William Hague and has an LGBT section.

It outlines some of the activities and diplomatic positions taken by the foreign office in 2011 to protect and promote global LGBT rights.

The report declares that the UK opposes ‘all forms of violence and discrimination against LGBT people’ and details the lobbying that embassies and commissions have undertaken to improve conditions across the world.

It states that the UK was integral in building international support for the UN statement on ‘Ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity’ in March.

This led to South Africa introducing the UN resolution on ‘Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity’ which was passed last June.

It also lists cites successes in the United States with the repeal of the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and plans in introduce more gay rights legislation in Brazil.

However it also says that much work still needs to be done in Africa and Russia.

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told Gay Star News: ‘The report outlines our main concerns and perspectives. It’s a factual case of what’s going on and it’s not emotive; we could have made it a lot more emotive. It shows that there have been a number of successes, although these may have been overshadowed part by negative events in Russia and Africa.

‘It makes clear that the UK is taking a particularly strong stand on issues. We have had a negative reaction for doing so from some countries, but we don’t care and will continue to do what we’re doing.’

In the last 12 months Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK may redirect foreign aid to avoid it passing through the hands of regimes which routinely persecute gay, bisexual and trans people. His remarks helped prompt a similar policy from the Barack Obama administration which was unveiled in a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the UN.

The LGBT section of the report concludes by saying that the government will continue to lobby against the return of Uganda’s  anti-homosexuality bill.

The British have been praised for releasing their report in the face of the US’s human rights report being delayed by three months.

by Alex Hopkins
Source – Gqy Star Times