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Stephen Williams MP calls for international action against homophobia

January 30, 2007 12:32 PM

Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, has called on the government to back a worldwide decriminalisation of homosexuality.

In a Parliamentary motion Early Day Motion 750, Mr Williams expressed support for a recent petition presented to the United Nations by the 'International Day Against Homophobia' (IDAHO) campaign, which calls for the universal abolition of so called crimes of homosexuality.

Commenting on the motion and campaign, Mr Williams said "We've made big advances in gay rights here in Britain over the last decade, so it's a chilling thought that in many parts of the world homosexuality is viewed with such hostility that it is made a criminal act. In some states this leads to the harassment of gay people by their fellow citizens or agents of the government. In other states, most notably Iran, the outcome is even worse with public executions of young men simply because of their sexuality. This is a human rights issue that the British government should be championing in the UN."

Derek Lennard, UK Coordinator for IDAHO, added "It is great to see a motion in support of our campaign to raise awareness of the desperate plight of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] people in the world, who in 70 countries are imprisoned, and in several countries are executed because of their sexual orientation. IDAHO is still a relatively new campaign, and it needs public figures to promote and champion what it stands for. Such a champion has been Stephen Williams MP, and LGBT people around the world are grateful for his steadfast support."