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Europe condemns anti-gay laws in Uganda, Nigeria, India and Russia

Members of European Parliament have called on heads of state and high courts to repeal discriminatory laws
Dutch MEP Marije Cornelissen calls for action to help oppressed LGBTI people

Europe has condemned anti-gay laws in Uganda, Nigeria, India and Russia today (16 January).

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) passed a motion calling for change in the homopphobic countries.

In a discussion held in Strasbourg, MEPs directly condemned the actions of certain leaders for their discriminatory policies and demanded the European Parliament act on these matters.

They called on the President of Uganda to refrain from signing anti-gay legislation into law. They also strongly condemned the Nigerian president for legalizing the bill known as 'Jail All The Gays'.

Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake encouraged her peers to stand up for the rights of LGBTI people.

She said: ‘LGBTI people have recently been faced with a wave of laws criminalising their identity, speech and behaviour, in other words, restricting their human rights’.

‘In this parliament, it is still difficult to get a number of members to condemn the threats to LGBTI people’s human rights at all. This is the shame of Europe today.’

She called on the European Parliament to act to stop oppression of LGBTI people.

‘The EU still has a lot to do itself to further human rights of LGBTI people. We have a duty to do all we can to help those who are oppressed,’ she said.

‘Our values of equality need to guide us in our relations with countries like Uganda, Nigeria, India and definitely Russia’.

British MEP Charles Tannock defended LGBTI people in his speech.

‘Gay people have lived in every culture throughout history and governments must understand it as a basic element of human sexuality’ he said.

‘Governments do not have the right to criminally prosecute and persecute innocent people.’

The resolution calls for the end of the criminalization of homosexuality, a legal travesty in 78 countries.

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