Tag Archives: David Cameron

Gay Marriages Begin In England and Wales, P.M. David Cameron Congratulates Country and Couples

gay accepting

With the law changing at midnight, same-sex marriages have  begun to marry in England and Wales with hundreds of gay ,lesbian, and bisexual couples  timing it so their vows are being just seconds after the new law went into effect.

Stated British Prime Minister David Cameron, writing for Pink News.

“The introduction of same-sex civil marriage says something about the sort of country we are. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth. It also sends a powerful message to young people growing up who are uncertain about their sexuality. It clearly says ‘you are equal’ whether straight or gay. That is so important in trying to create an environment where people are no longer bullied because of their sexuality – and where they can realise their potential, whether as a great mathematician like Alan Turing, a star of stage and screen like Sir Ian McKellen or a wonderful journalist and presenter like Clare Balding. We are a nation that is growing stronger economically because of our long term economic plan. But I hope we can also be a country that is growing stronger socially because we value love and commitment equally. Let us raise a toast to that – and all those getting married this weekend.”

Sometimes I think it might have been better if we lost the Revolutionary War.

David Cameron rejects Russian Olympic boycott

Londoners protest Russian LGBT policies

In response to broadcaster Stephen Fry’s open letter, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Lord Coe, British Olympic Association chairman, have rejected Fry’s call for a boycott of the Sochi Games over Russia’s treatment of LGBT people.

Cameron – who recently supported equal marriage legislation against the wishes of a majority of his Conservative caucus – wrote on Twitter that “I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than [boycott] the Winter Olympics.”

Former Olympian Lord Coe, meanwhile, noted that Britain did not join the American boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games, at which Coe won gold. “[Boycotts] damage only one group of people and that is the athletes,” the British Olympic chief said. Coe made his comments at the World Athletics Championships, coincidentally held in Moscow.

Cameron’s and Coe’s statements come one day before hundreds of Londoners gathered near the Prime Minister’s official residence in Downing Street to protest Russian’s anti-gay “propaganda” laws. Speaking at the protest, Fry accepted that a boycott of the Sochi games was unlikely but called on athletics to make a public gesture of solidarity at the Games to “take the sweetness of victory out of Putin’s mouth.”

British broadcaster Stephen Fry
British broadcaster Stephen Fry

Russia has earned scorn from international leaders over new federal legislation banning distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors” and failing to stop numerous violent attacks on LGBT activists in recent months.

Stephen Fry On Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws: “I weep to see history repeating itself”

Stephen Fry Russia

I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian ‘correctively’ raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself. ‘All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,’ so wrote Edmund Burke. Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those ‘good’ who allow evil to triumph? The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.” – Stephen Fry, in an open letter to the IOC and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Fry’s arguments are based on both history and humanity.

So powerfully written. Everyone both gay and straight should read the full letter.

British Conservatives back same-sex marriage

A campaign group of prominent British Conservatives has banded together to support marriage equality in England and Wales.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government will change the law before the next election in 2015. Cameron himself is an advocate for same-sex marriage, though he is allowing his Conservative caucus a free vote.

Despite expectations that over 100 Tory MPs will vote against it, the legislation is expected to pass easily in the House of Commons with the support of the Liberal Democrats and the opposition Labour Party, but may face stronger opposition in the British House of Lords.

The Conservative group, Freedom To Marry, announced its launch in a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, arguing that civil partnerships – legal in the U.K. since 2004 – “are not marriages, which express a particular and universally understood commitment.”

The group includes Education Secretary Michael Gove, London Mayor Boris Johnson, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, Foreign Office Minister Alastair Burt, and the openly lesbian leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson. Freedom To Marry was organized by former minister Nick Herbert who is himself in a civil partnership.

Two of the 19 members of Freedom To Marry are known for their strong religious beliefs; McLoughlin is a Catholic, Burt an evangelical Protestant.

Prime Minister Cameron has come under fire from members of his own caucus for his strong support for marriage equality, despite Cameron’s assurances that no church will be forced to perform same-sex marriages. In this clip, he makes his support crystal clear. Good show, Dave!

 

UK Government will redirect aid for anti-gay countries but NOT cut it

 Secretary of State for international development, Andrew Mitchell, today held a meeting with leading gay-rights groups in the UK and confirmed that foreign aid to countries that fail to recognise human rights will be redirected away from their governments and into other areas.

The initial proposal to stop aid to anti-gay countries was unclear and resulted in backlash both within the countries and by aid and LGBT supporters. There was uncertainty about who would be most affected by the changes and mixed reactions to the feasibility of its goals. One British friend of mine was recently asked in Uganda why his government “is promoting homosexuality”. In an attempt to clarify the intentions of this proposal, it has been determined that there will be no cuts in the amount of aid given to these countries, but rather the governments will lose the power to control these resources unless they change their attitudes towards human rights.

Last month Mitchell stated that “Taking money away from Governments does not mean you do not support that country. You find other mechanisms for trying to help the poorest with food, education and health care as well as building up business structures”.

Leading human rights and gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell explained why a simple cut in aid would be counterproductive:

“Although human rights abuses are unacceptable and violate international humanitarian law, any reduction in aid would penalise the poorest, most vulnerable people in developing countries. Many are dependent on aid for basic needs like food, clean water, health care and education. They should not be made to suffer because of human rights abuses by their governments.”

He went on to explain the need for proper profiling around the intentions of this action, and to “counteract the negative LGBTI backlash that this misreporting has generated in some African countries.” The association of cuts in aid with the gay community and/or Western impositions of values is certainly not going to help the cause, but rather worsen homophobic attitudes.

Source: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/11/22/minister-confirms-uk-will-redirect-aid-not-cut-it-for-human-rights-abuses/

David Cameron threatens to decrease UK Aid to anti-gay countries

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has taken a new tack in showing that the UK is strongly against the anti-homosexuality laws that exist in some nations. He is proposing that UK aid be limited for certain countries unless they reform their legislation banning homosexuality.

The issue was raised at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth where Cameron stated the recipients of UK aid should “adhere to proper human rights”. With many of these laws a legacy of the British Empire, the UK perhaps feels particular responsibility for helping change them. 41 of the 54 members of the Commonwealth have anti-gay laws.

But has the colonial legacy evaporated too much for Cameron to wield such legitimate authority? Will the stick prove more effective than the carrot? Or is this simply blackmail?

This could generate more anti-West sentiment amongst nations who already begrudge Western values being imposed upon them against their will. Can this be an effective long-term approach if it is unlikely to change the attitudes within the country? If anything, it could lead to greater resentment for homosexuals.

Cameron did concede that he does not expect countries to change overnight. But during the fight for changing governmental attitudes, it is the people who may suffer the consequences. For many in the developing world, they will resent the fact this issue may take precedence over life-threatening levels such as extreme hunger, yet for many homosexuals in these countries this is also a matter of life and death

It should be noted, however, that this threat would not actually reduce the overall amount of aid to any one country as it only applies to one type of bilateral aid – general budget support.

Either way, it is reassuring for many to see LGBT issues being taken seriously at a national level, and by none other than a conservative government!