2011 January

Equal Love case goes to European Court

Legal bid for gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships

Eight couples file joint application on 2 February

Professor Robert Wintemute outlines the legal case for equality

Photo call:
9.30am, Wednesday 2 February
Corner Abingdon Street and Great College Street, SW1
(diagonally opposite the House of Lords)

Equal Love – European Court application launch
10.30am, Tuesday 2 February
Committee Room 17
House of Commons

“Eight British couples will formally file a joint legal application to the European Court of Human Rights this Wednesday, 2 February, in a bid to overturn the twin bans on gay civil marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships,” announced human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage!.

The European Court challenge will be formally announced at a meeting in Committee Room 17 at the House of Commons at 10.30am, booked in the name of Caroline Lucas MP. Ms Lucas is the keynote speaker.

Prior to this meeting, there will be a photo call at 9.30am, where the couples filing the European Court challenge will post their application in the red letter box at the corner of Abingdon Street and Great College Street, SW1, diagonally opposite the House of Lords.

Peter Tatchell is coordinator of the Equal Love campaign – www.equalove.org.uk – which seeks to end sexual orientation discrimination in both civil marriage and civil partnership law. (more…)

Statement by OutRage! on the murder of David Kato in Uganda

We, the members of OutRage! in London, express our sincere condolences to Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and to the Ugandan LGBTI community concerning the tragic, brutal murder of David Kato.

We salute David and his immense, brave contribution to LGBTI human rights in Uganda.

He was an inspiring campaigner of long and great commitment. He will live on in our memories. He will also live on through the rights and equalities that LGBTI Ugandans will win eventually thanks to his many years of tireless groundwork and campaigning.

We express our admiration and appreciation to all the members of SMUG who are battling for LGBTI freedom in conditions of great adversity and danger. Their courage and tenacity is awesome.

We hope this savage killing will finally prompt Uganda’s political, religious and media leaders to cease their homophobic witch-hunts. We call on the government of Uganda to withdraw the ‘kill the gays’ Anti-Homosexuality Bill, decriminalise same-sex relations and legislate protection for LGBTI people against discrimination and hate crimes.

Yours in mournful comradeship,

Peter Tatchell,
OutRage! London UK

Ibis hotel hosts anti-gay hate preachers

Extremists call for “death penalty” for gays

Islamic Research and Education Academy conference this Sunday

The Ibis international hotel group has been accused by lesbian and gay human rights campaigners of “irresponsibly hosting conferences by extremist anti-gay hate preachers”.

The next conference by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) will be held on Sunday 16 January at the Ibis Hotel in Earl’s Court in London.

The Ibis group is being urged to cancel the iERA booking and “stop hosting speakers who variously incite homophobic hatred and the killing of gay people.”

The iERA has featured Muslim fundamentalist preachers who advocate the criminalisation of homosexuality and even the death penalty for same-sex acts. They argue that it is necessary to execute gays to keep society pure. They defend these extreme teachings about homosexuality as a model that should be followed by contemporary societies.

The headline speakers at Sunday’s conference are associates of the hate preachers Dr Zakir Naik and Bilal Phillips. Both banned from entering Britain by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, last year. Another iERA advisor, Hussein Yee is also banned from entering the UK.

The iERA speakers at the Ibis Hotel on Sunday are:

  • Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick
  • Abduraheem Green
  • Shaykh Ala El Sayed
  • Shaykh Yusuf Estes (tbc)
  • Shaykh Shady Suleiman,
  • Hamza Tzortzis
  • Yusuf Chambers

See below examples of their homophobic incitements against lesbian and gay people.

“The Ibis Hotel group should not facilitate speakers who promote homophobic discrimination and violence. They should cancel this booking,” said Peter Tatchell of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights group OutRage!

“Lesbian and gay people – and straight people of conscience – should not use Ibis Hotels while they continue to host extremist anti-gay preachers. A boycott campaign might be necessary if Ibis does not change its policy.

“Neither the government nor the police would allow an event with speakers who had called for the killing of Muslims to ‘keep society pure’ and stop the spread of their religion. Such extreme anti-Muslim hate speech would not be tolerated. The event would be stopped and the speakers arrested if they expressed those views. Why the double standards?

“Most Muslims in Britain do not believe that lesbian and gay people should be killed. These extremists are out of touch with the majority of Muslim opinion. They are divisive and they damage community cohesion. Their homophobic fanaticism is being exploited by the far right to unfairly tarnish the wider Muslim community,” Mr Tatchell said.

OutRage! is urging you to email your protest to the General Manager of the Ibis Hotel in Earl’s Court, Patrice Millot:

Please also email your protest to Jean-Jacques Dessors, CEO of the Ibis Hotel parent company, Accor, via his PA, Charlotte Young:

Brett Lock of OutRage! added:

“This is not the first time Ibis Hotels have hosted such extremist events. It is quite shocking. I doubt they would host racist and anti-Semitic conferences.

“We do not wish to ban people with religious convictions from expressing their moral opposition to homosexuality. People should have the freedom to say that they think homosexuality is a sin and incompatible with their religious beliefs. However, supporting the execution of lesbian and gay people and equating them with rapists and paedophiles is dangerous incitement. It crosses the line,” he said.

Below are samples of anti-gay incitements by Sunday’s speakers at the Islamic Research and Education Academy conference in London: (more…)