Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Foreign Office praised for IDAHO contribution

...Unprecedented support for LGBT human rights worldwide

...Support urged for Moscow Gay Pride on 27 and 28 May

"To mark the IDAHO, the International Day Against Homphobia and Transphobia, the British Foreign Office issued an unprecedented message of support for LGBT rights and called for the prevention of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," said Dan Littauer, Executive Editor of Gay Middle East.COM.

His view was echoed by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell:

"I commend the Foreign Office for its active endorsement and promotion of IDAHO and for its commitment to LGBT human rights worldwide. This year was its best contribution ever.

"But I also believe the Foreign Office could be doing more year-round to support LGBT communities that are suffering under repressive regimes. While the Foreign Office has been supportive of Gay Pride parades in Poland and the Baltic countries, they have offered no support to the organisers of Moscow Gay Pride, despite the arrests and bashings of the last five years. Moscow Pride is next week. It is again banned by the Mayor. We fear more mass arrests and beatings. I want to see the Foreign Office actively support the organisers and participants by sending the British Ambassador as an observer," said Mr Tatchell.

"This is the most comprehensive effort in support global LGBT rights by the British Foreign Office - or perhaps by any Foreign Office - that I have ever seen," added Mr Littaeur.

"Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne recorded a video message of support, and the Foreign Office website hosted, for the first time, two guest contributions from LGBT organisations, one by Gay Middle East and the other by Pride London. Foreign Office diplomatic staff from Beirut to Tokyo wrote on the issue from the perspective of the country in which they are posted."

"We were particularly pleased to be invited to contribute, as it sends a strong message of support to LGBT communities worldwide and particularly in the Middle East and North Africa."

"It demonstrates the readiness of the Foreign Office to help and encourage LGBT NGOs, activists and communities across the world to speak out against discrimination and homophobia in their countries," concluded Dan Littauer.

Gay Middle East.COM is the largest, most comprehensive and senior grassroots information, news and research on LGBT rights and news in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The organisation is non-profit and completely voluntary, members often risk their lives obtaining and reporting important information that would not be available otherwise to the public domain.

More info: Dan Littauer - editor@gaymiddleeast.com and 075 754 59 633

Foreign Office IDAHO actions:

· Foreign Office supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (inc. Minister's video): http://www.Foreign Office.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=596524482
· Minister's video YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tn9eC1dm_W0

Social media - lots of tweeting (particularly from @FCOHumanRights) and Facebooking across our various channels, using hashtags #IDAHO and #LGBT. Good amount of retweets and likes.


· Guest blog from Pride London: http://blogs.Foreign Office.gov.uk/roller/bate/entry/lgbt_across_the_world_today
· Guest blog from Gay Middle East: http://blogs.Foreign Office.gov.uk/roller/bate/entry/will_the_arab_spring_result1
· Paul Arkwright (Ambassador to the Netherlands, The Hague): http://blogs.Foreign Office.gov.uk/roller/arkwright/entry/marking_international_day_against_homophobia
· Christopher Wright, the Second Secretary for Political, Press and Public Affairs (guest entry on Ambassador to Philippines Stephen Lillie's blog): http://blogs.Foreign Office.gov.uk/roller/lillie/entry/international_day_against_homophobia_and
· Tom Burn (Media and Communication Director, Tokyo): http://blogs.Foreign Office.gov.uk/roller/burn/entry/idaho_s_not_a_place
· Greg Dorey (Ambassador to Hungary, Budapest): http://blogs.Foreign Office.gov.uk/roller/dorey/entry/international_day_against_homophobia_and
· Frances Guy (Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon, Beirut): http://blogs.Foreign Office.gov.uk/roller/guy/entry/international_day_against_homophobia_idaho

Additional content (a couple of examples - there may be more out there)

· British Ambassador to Lebanon Frances Guy met with the Lebanese NGO 'Helem', including embedded video: http://ukinlebanon.Foreign Office.gov.uk/en/about-us/working-with-lebanon2/002-IDAHO
· UK in Nepal supports International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia: http://ukinnepal.Foreign Office.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&id=597058682

No comments: