Why UK PM Cameron’s pro-gay remark is pure irresponsibility

By Cathy Kristofferson, July 25, 2013

Photo courtesy The Telegraph

Photo courtesy The Telegraph

British Prime Minister David Cameron declared last night that he wanted to “EXPORT” marriage equality “around the world”.  Mr. Cameron was speaking at a garden party to celebrate the recent passage of ‘his’ Marriage Equality Act for England and Wales.

This is the headline in today’s UK Telegraph:

The article reports:

He said that he wanted to “export” same sex marriage around the world so other countries could follow suit.

Cameron is so proud of his party’s work he said “I’m going to export the bill team. I think they can be part of this global race and take it around the world.”

ktPerhaps Cameron has not read nor been advised of The Kaleidoscope Trust’s reporting on “Gay Marriage and Other Wins for LGBT People Here Are Making Life Worse for Gays and Lesbians in Developing Countries”  One would imagine that he is familiar with The Kaleidoscope Trust, as it is an organization established in London in 2011 specifically  to lobby Britain’s politicians to revoke anti-gay laws in the Commonwealth.

It wasn’t until I went looking for how many of those countries had picked up The Telegraph’s reporting – handing that pin-less grenade to so many haters – until I found what The Telegraph’s reporting had left out.  In Kenya, they say he followed his ‘export’ riff with an amazing understatement:

But Mr Cameron signaled that he wants to go further in pressing gay rights. He told the gathering: ‘There’s still a lot more work to be done.

‘There’s work to be done talking to our Commonwealth partners about decriminalising homosexuality in various countries.”

Screen-shot-2013-07-18-at-11.16.09-AMThere are 76, 78 or 83 countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal depending on how you count.  43 of those are thanks to British colonization, Mr. Cameron.

As we reported here on OBLOGDEE back in March when Queen Elizabeth II issued the new charter she left the Commonwealth’s sexual minority citizens inferred to as ‘Other’.  Reported by the UK’s Daily Mail as:

“The charter, dubbed a ‘21st Century Commonwealth Magna Carta’ declares: ‘We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.’ The ‘other grounds’ is intended to refer to sexuality – but specific reference to ‘gays and lesbians’ was omitted in deference to Commonwealth countries with draconian anti-gay laws.”

Clearly there is a LOT more to do and perhaps Mr. Cameron should have little chats with leaders about decriminalizing homosexuality in those 43 countries!  And let us not forget the part Great Britain played in that colonial era criminalization. Perhaps the work is to undo that harm first.

Add to that the hypocrisy when taking into account the UK’s disgusting track record deporting LGBTI asylum seekers back to countries where their lives are immediately at risk.  One of many cases includes that of Jackie Nanyonjo who Cameron’s UK deported back to ‘Kill The Gays’ Uganda just a few months ago only to die after a controversial manhandling by the UK security agents,  as reported  here on OBLOGDEE.

The UK’s Movement For Justice advocates about these deportations all the time.  Today’s tweet read “URGENT! Stop deportation of Ugandan Lesbian Aisha this SAT: ACT NOW!”  Mr. Cameron should perhaps also schedule a chat with the head of the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

And yes, I hear the glass shattering all around us here in the United States.  We are likely the largest exporters of hate and homophobia on the planet.  And have done very little to proactively help LGBTI people seeking refuge.

Cameron should be aware that there is more to LGBTI equality than marriage.  And there is more to do to gain full acceptance abroad. The LGBTI community’s ability to pursue happiness in many countries should start with decriminalization of sexuality. Hopefully Mr. Cameron, will stop to consider his audience – his careless bravado – and the full breadth and meaning of his words!

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2 Comments on “Why UK PM Cameron’s pro-gay remark is pure irresponsibility”

  1. Steven Rhodes July 28, 2013 at 3:58 PM #

    Gay marriage was not in Cameron’s manifesto – having been a pledge by the Liberal-Democrat party with whom he is in coalition. However, the stance of the Kaleidescope Trust above is virtually impossible to read. Are you saying that we should keep silent on same-sex marriage and NOT seek to export it to other countries? Are you really saying, because it makes homophobes in Uganda really mad, that if we retreat from it in the UK, then the lot of African LGBT people will be better? In fact, what are you saying here?This article is utter nonsense.

    • Cathy Kristofferson July 28, 2013 at 8:37 PM #

      I am saying that Mr. Cameron’s careless remark about “exporting marriage equality around the world” plays into the hands of anti-gay leaders who are currently legislating LGBT oppression on top of existing criminalized homosexuality all in the name of stopping the ‘spread’ of gay marriage. Most often this is in countries where same sex sexual activity is illegal, where no non-discrimination laws exist, and where clearly no one is trying to gain marriage equality.

      Many countries, like Nigeria and Uganda where homosexuality activity is already illegal, they have now passed or proposed legislation to deny Freedoms of Speech and Assembly by banning any so-called “pro-gay” speech, LGBT advocacy groups including HIV/AIDs groups, Pride parades, public displays of affection, and more. These bills also legislate witch hunts by requiring everyone to report known or suspected homosexuals to the authorities for prosecution. In other countries like Jamaica and Belize, two more British colonies where sexual acts are still illegal, they are experiencing raging homophobia and escalating violence thanks to religious leaders calling for protests and rallies to push for legislation to keep the West and ‘their’ gay marriage ideas out of those countries.

      Before Mr. Cameron’s front page declaration all of these political and religious leaders were just speculating on the inevitability of marriage equality. Now they have a world leader to point to and all the more reason to hurry up and get more and more oppression in place to preserve the sanctity of one man one woman. There is a long way to go just to gain acceptance in these countries before anyone will be entertaining any thoughts of marriage equality. The last thing they need is more fuel on the fire of trans and homophobia.

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