To mark International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia on 17 May, the Executive Director of NGO Kaleidoscope Trust, Lance Price, has written a guest blog.
We set up the Kaleidoscope Trust as the only UK-based charity working exclusively on international LGBT rights only last year. From the very beginning we have been delighted by the support and encouragement we’ve received from the British government, and the FCO in particular, but also from all the main political parties in the UK.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, told us he wanted Britain to be a ‘beacon for reform’ of LGBT rights around the world. We won’t always agree with the government, and we will always be asking for more. We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t! But the FCO’s statement that ‘The UK believes that human rights should apply equally to all, and in this regard we oppose all forms of violence and discrimination against LGBT people’ is unambiguous and very welcome.
LGBT rights are human rights and human rights are LGBT rights, it’s as simple as that. And it should NEVER be a crime to be gay. Persuading some of our partners around the world, in particular within the Commonwealth, of those simple truths will not be easy. But our job, as a charity, is helped enormously by the knowledge that there is a political consensus in this country that human rights must be upheld without distinction or discrimination of any kind.
Our President, the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, set out the world situation with great eloquence on 16 May here in London. I hope everybody will read what he said, and keep in touch with our work here on the Kaleidoscope Trust website.