Thursday, 20 May 2010

Will the new Government be saying anything about this?

The new Government's coalition agreement includes a very welcome section on equalities. Among the promises are several dealing with sexuality - a welcome change enabled by the Conservative Party's massive shift in stance on the issue over the past four or five years.

Two of the pledges are:

• We will stop the deportation of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution.
• We will use our relationships with other countries to push for unequivocal support for gay rights and for UK civil partnerships to be recognised internationally.

Today comes the news that two gay men in Malawi have been jailed for 14 years with hard labour for holding an engagement ceremony in private last year.

The laws under which they were tried were first introduced during the time of British rule of the country and have never been repealed.

I would hope the new Foreign Secretary, William Hague, will be pressing Malawi (a Commonwealth country), and other countries which persecute people on the basis of their sexuality, to change their stance.

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