Scotland: Amnesty International at Pride Scotia - Love is a human right

LGBT people around the world face discrimination and worse - almost 80 countries have laws that criminalise same sex relations. In Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen people convicted of homosexual sex can be executed. LGBT people have fled countries including Uganda and Jamaica where police and community violence against them is so common it is a serious threat to life.

Here in Europe, in Poland, Russia and Latvia local councils have recently tried to ban Pride marches. Local politicians and civic leaders in those countries have made homophobic remarks and called homosexuality and pride marches “a blow for morality”.

Amnesty International will be signalling its support for the rights of LGBT people everywhere by marching and running a stall at Pride Scotia, under the arc of a big inflatable rainbow.

Amnesty’s presence at Pride is coincides with an exhibition at the Q! Gallery in Glasgow entitled Sex, Love and Homophobia This exhibition consists of images from Amnesty’s book of the same name and gives an insight into LGBTI rights in the world today.

According to Desmond Tutu, Sex, Love and Homophobia 'illuminates anew the bleak wasteland that is prejudice. It illuminates more clearly than ever that a loving, understanding humanity is sustained by justice … Sex, Love and Homophobia is a bright light on the path to justice.'

Amnesty International’s Programme Director, Scotland, Rosemary Burnett, said:

“Amnesty International campaigns for human rights around the world and shines a light on abuses and prejudice. LGBT rights are human rights. Abuses against the LGBT community are abuses against the humanity that belongs to us all.”

“Amnesty has reported on abuses against LGBT people in Europe and around the world. Recently, we supported the NUS Scotland and Equality Network protest outside the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh against the banning of Pride march in Moscow.

“This is why it’s so important for us to use our freedom and show solidarity with those around the world who are not able to protest in the same way. International human rights law forbids discrimination against people on grounds of their sexuality and we need to make more governments fulfill their obligations.”

Encouragingly, Glasgow City Council has shown its commitment to LGBT issues by allowing the use of George Square – the most prestigious site in the city.

Amnesty International will be asking Pride revelers to take action on abuses by American police forces They will sign and send postcards to the Los Angeles Police Department asking them to ensure homophobic abuse is stamped out of the force.

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