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Wales: Love is a human right- Amnesty Wales and Chris Bryant MP defend rights here and abroad

Amnesty International Wales will be taking part in the Cardiff Mardi Gras today (2nd September), showing support for those at home and abroad whose human rights are under threat because of their sexuality, and asking people to take action against such discrimination.

Around 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 people is so common it is a serious threat to life. In Egypt men were rounded up and imprisoned for going to a gay club.

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

Chris Bryant MP said

"We often take our rights and privileges for granted in this country - especially as gay men and lesbians. There are still far too many countries in the world where people are not just bullied and ridiculed for being gay, but are tortured and executed. In particular, I have been fighting for Iran to stop its executions of young men for their sexuality."

Cathy Owens, Programme Director for Amnesty International Wales said:

“What we have seen at Amnesty is that gay people around the world do not sit back and allow this kind of prejudice and discrimination to happen. In Eastern Europe people defied the attempted bans and marched anyway, even thought they faced assaults by thugs encouraged by local politicians. In the Middle East and in many parts of Africa and Asia gay people continue to organize themselves into groups, sometimes secretly.

“This is why it’s so important for us to use our freedom and show solidarity with LGBT people across the world. International human rights law forbids discrimination against people on grounds of their sexuality and we need to make more governments understand that. We have come along way in the UK, but we should not be complacent, particularly when a third of the gay community in Wales have suffered some form of violence or bullying."

“It does make a difference when people come together to call for freedom. We’re really looking forward to the Cardiff Mardi Gras and to the day when gay people all over the world can be out and proud.”

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