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A question of Heinz, and one for Jacqui Smith

So what exactly does Heinz meanz these days? Gone it appears are the halcyon days of simple messages about warming cups of soup and the beauty of Tomato Ketchup. Instead the global brand has gone and got itself embroiled in a saucy row over homophobia.The reason? Their latest ad for Deli Mayo. The ad takes a new spin on a family scene, ending with two men kissing. It should have been another step on taking gay rights into the mainstream.The problem? Heinz chose to pull the ad after a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, as the Guardian reported. That on its own is disappointing, but when, as The Independent rightly pointed out today, the number of complaints received is still only a quarter of the total for an ad by Volkswagen which featured a shivering dog, the decision by Heinz does have the whiff of over-reaction about it.The story has caused such a stink that the online version of The Metro is even running a poll on it. Amnesty has a long-running campaign on LGBT rights and I don’t think I really need to tell you which way to vote.

Staying on the theme of gay rights, Jacqui Smith’s comments that gays are safe in Iran as long as they are “discreet” has kicked off an almighty row on the blogs. Exactly how you define discreet baffles me – I might leave that one to the Home Secretary to explain…Anyway have a look at some of the blogs here, here and here.

Next Thursday we’re playing host to a fantastic photo exhibition called “Hate and Pride in Riga”. Starting at 6.30pm, the exhibition will showcase 15 hard-hitting photographs from this year’s Riga Pride and will be accompanied by activists from Mozaika, the Lativian organisers of the event. Places are limited so if you are interested in attending then please email

And all that comes just two days before London Pride on Saturday 5 July. Should be the best ever and Amnesty will be out in force once again. See you there.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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