Lynne Featherstone: We must find a way forward for LGBT rights in Africa

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Former Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone has said the international community “must find a way forward in these most difficult of circumstances” to improve LGBT rights in Africa.

Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat responsible for introducing the same-sex marriage bill as Equalities Minister, is now the International Development Minister.

She said today: “Here in the UK we reached a milestone this year, with the first ever same-sex weddings.

“I was lucky enough to attend Our Gay Wedding – the musical, which was held at Alexandra Palace Theatre in my constituency on the first day of equal marriages.

“It was a fantastic day for the couple, and for all the campaigners, like Peter Tatchell, the Coalition for Equal Marriage and many others, who have campaigned for this for so long.

“But not everywhere in the world is like this.

“In my role as International Development minister, I see first-hand how difficult life is in Africa for the LGBT community.

“Now I am working with others to find a way forward in these most difficult of circumstances. LGBT rights abroad must remain on everyone’s agenda.

“That’s why the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is such an important day, and one I fully support.”

Earlier today, Tory equalities minister Sajid Javid wrote exclusively for Pink News: “IDAHOT is an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress made towards LGB&T equality, but it is also a reminder of the challenges that remain.

“LGB&T people continue to face discrimination and violence because of who they are. Everyone should be able to live free of fear and of violence, and it’s time we ended this prejudice.”