Members of Syria Solidarity UK alongside Peter Tatchell, interrupted Jeremy Corbyn's speech on human rights today, because we believe that Syria is the number one human rights issue of the moment. The Labour Leader has been conspicuously quiet on the issue; and we wanted to remind him that this is the time for action, not words.
You should realise when you are riding roughshod over someone's pain and should f*****g shut up and listen a bit if you actually want people to engage with your point of view, and maybe agree to disagree. Instead of feeling they have to run away, or block their ears and go la-la-la. Or no-platform you, which is the institutional equivalent.
Northern Ireland is the most homophobic region of the UK and one of the most homophobic regions of the EU. This intolerance is stirred primarily by the dominant Democratic Unionist Party, the main political wing of Loyalist protestantism. Its policies on gay issues echo the homophobia of the BNP and European fascist groups. Many Northern Irish people are not homophobic. Even within the DUP, there are members who would not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. But senior party figures hold sway and they dictate an anti-gay agenda.
The Equal Love campaign has formally ceased its 2011 application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which sought to secure equality in UK civil marriage and civil partnership law. This follows the decision of the European Court that the application is "inadmissible" and subsequent fruitless attempts by campaigners to challenge the ruling. This is the end of the road for our application. We can take it no further. Sincere thanks to the eight couples involved and to all our supporters who stood with us for four years.
Speaker after speaker last Saturday warned of an Islamist agenda of stealthy, creeping, subtle Sharification. This involves sustained attempts by Islamists to pressure public institutions, in the name of religious freedom and multiculturalism, to make special allowances for their reactionary sectarian clerical values.
"We must exterminate these people (homosexuals) root and branch... We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be entirely eliminated." With these chilling words, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, set out the Nazi master plan for the sexual cleansing of the Aryan race. From 1933-1945, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 men were arrested under paragraph 175 for the crime of homosexuality. Some were tried and sentenced in the courts; others were sent direct to concentration camps without any trial or formal sentence. The death rate of gay prisoners in the camps was over 50%, the highest among non-Jewish victims.
Too many people in British public life are "shackled by ambition". But there are the few who seek more than short-term career advancement. These are the people of ideas, that challenge, probe, and agitate for change. They are in the business of shaping the future, not of enjoying the comforts of a ministerial Jaguar.
Whatever people think about Alex Salmond and the push for Scottish independence, his statement and actions are the most forthright and supportive on LGBTI equality by any leader of any host nation during a major international sporting event. Neither David Cameron nor Boris Johnson did anything similar during the London Olympics. This is a unique, unprecedented initiative for which Alex Salmond and the Scottish government deserve full credit and commendation. For LGBTI communities in the 42 Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is still criminalised, the Scottish government's pro-LGBTI stance means a lot. It will comfort them and, I hope, discomfort their homophobic governments. It demonstrates Scotland's commitment to a truly equal and inclusive Games. Bravo!