Showing posts with label Prime Minister. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prime Minister. Show all posts

August 2, 2019

A First : Prime Minister of Canada Visits A 🌈Gay Bar

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made history on Monday by stopping at a gay bar in Vancouver to mark the beginning of the city’s Pride week.
Trudeau took pictures and shook hands with patrons at the Fountainhead Pub — effectively becoming the first sitting Canadian prime minister to visit a gay bar. “Vancouver is gearing up for #Pride weekend right now, but the spirit of pride and inclusivity is strong here all year long!” Trudeau wrote on Twitter. “Thanks to the folks at @fountainheadVAN for the warm welcome today.”
This is not the first time Trudeau has shown his support for Canada’s LGBTQ community with a historic gesture.
In 2016, he became the first sitting prime minister to march in Toronto’s Pride Parade, the largest gay pride celebration in the country. And a year later, Trudeau publicly apologized to gay Canadians who were fired from their jobs and the military during the Cold War. He proposed the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act, which eradicated the records of Canadians previously convicted of consensual homosexual activity and which was passed last June.
The Canadian government also committed to paying $85 million to compensate victims of the so-called gay purge during this same session at the House of Commons in Ottawa.
“This is the devastating story of people who were branded criminals by the government — people who lost their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives,” Trudeau said at the time.  
Trudeau was not the only political leader to make history this year during his country’s LGBTQ Pride festivities. For the first time in his nearly three-year tenure, President Donald Trump recognized the annual celebration, becoming the first Republican president to do so after President Bill Clinton officially established Pride Month in 1999.
"As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation," Trump tweeted.
Trump's recognition of Pride Month, however, came amid a flurry of anti-LGBTQ activity by his administration, including rolling back health care rules aimed at helping LGBTQ people, opposing the passage of the Equality Act and banning transgender personnel from serving in the military.
Trudeau visited the Fountainhead Pub for only 15 minutes, news organizations reported, but it was long enough to leave an impression on customers.
“When the Canadian Prime Minister comes into a gay bar in Vancouver and asks your name. Living my best life,” one patron wrote on Instagram. 

April 27, 2018

Theresa May Sorry For Colonial Anti Gay Laws But Wont Help in Annulling Them Today

 The UK wrote these anti gay laws for these countries now is is ot lifting a finger to undue the harm

When British prime minister Theresa May, who’d been pushed hard byactivists in her country, apologized to the citizens of Commonwealth nations last week for inflicting dreaded anti-gay laws upon them it was momentous. Historic even.
“I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country,” she told leaders at the just concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM2018) in London. “They were wrong then and they are wrong now.”
The colonial-era ‘sodomy laws’ are in place in 36 out of 53 Commonwealth nations. And they’ve remained in place for well over 60 years in many African countries with the occasional controversial update at election time. As the West has gained more knowledge on human sexuality and moved away from classifying it as disease or criminal, the UK has changed its laws, and, eventually, fully embraced marriage equality between people of the same gender.
But will May’s ‘deep regret’ move the needle for gay, lesbian or transgender Africans who more often than not have to deal with brute force of the state and the stigma some in society openly heap on them?
Probably not. 
In 2018, many on the continent aren’t expecting May’s regrets to make much difference as they navigate staying alive while loving and living with dignity. In Nairobi, Kenya, Nguru Karugu, a longtime social justice advocate heard the remarks and thought they were of little significance.
“The Kenyan LGBT movement has continued to exert itself supported by a progressive constitution. Britain’s statement does not increase or decrease the trajectory the movement has embarked upon on its justice journey,” Karugu, the executive director of Public Health Innovations consulting firm, said. This rapidly growing movement however is one that the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta refuses to even acknowledge. Shortly after May’s remarks, he told CNN that LGBT equality in the Kenyan republic was a nonissue.
“I will not engage in a subject of no … it is not of any major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya. This is not an issue, as you would want to put it, of human rights. This is an issue of society, of our own base, as a culture as a people,” he said adding that 99% of his fellow citizens agree with him.
Bur lately, courtrooms in Kenya tell a different story and are slowlyaffirming Kenyan gays who refuse to stay silent. And few say, Kenyatta is not speaking for them.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, the climate is increasingly hostile, particularly in former British colonies. Anyone can be arrested for on suspicion of being part of the LGBT family. In Zimbabwe there are recent reports of arrests of people simply on a night out; In Nigeria, it remains open season with entrapment of gays being the norm since former president Goodluck Jonathan, signed into law a draconian anti-gay bill in an Election Year gambit that he lost in 2015.
Of course the apology by May was received in Nigeria by scorn being heaped on her and media commentators there conflating decriminalization of adult consensual sexual activity that May called for, with marriage for same sex couples. Over in Tanzania, the state continues to bully activists, arresting anyone they deem to have any whiff of homosexual sympathies. And in Ghana, one prominent Christian leader, Emmanuel Martey, of the Presbyterian church of Ghana deems all gay Ghanaians as ‘Satanists’. And Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, the deputy speaker of parliament claimed homosexuality is worse than an atomic bomb. In Ghana at election time, gay hysteria seems to ramp up like it does in Nigeria.
A few years ago I asked one of Ghana’s noted historians why the Ghanaian sodomy laws which condemned men was silent on women. Nat Amarteifio, Accra’s former mayor howled with laughter then explained: “These laws were written fifty years ago when they didn’t dare think their women had sexual drives for men much less for women.”
So for some May’s apology was a day late and a dollar short.
“Why didn’t she simply condemn the fellow Commonwealth members to repeal their laws, not say the UK will stand by countries who want to reform? ” wondered Nairobi resident Kevin Mwachiro, 45, who felt perhaps she ought to have pointed out the worst offenders. “She should have been more forthright in condemning member countries that still have those laws.”
Still there are glimpses of hope. And resilience.
LGBT people in tiny Kingdom of eSwatini, (Swaziland) are refusing to hide anymore and planning a commemoration of Pride. While Ugandan police keep shutting down, LGBT cultural events, they continue to happen. Nigerian queer women are taking steps away from the shadows too as their queer stories are going public. ‘She Called Me Woman’ (Cassava Republic) hits Lagos bookstores in June. 

June 13, 2017

Theresa May Does a Trumpie by Appointing Justice Minister Opposed to LGBT


New Justice Secretary David Lidington has consistently opposed LGBT rights including gay marriage and has voted in favor of repealing the Human Rights Act.

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Prime Minister Theresa May replaced Liz Truss with the MP for Aylesbury during her cabinet reshuffle, following the Conservatives’ disastrous performance in the general election. He will also hold the office of Lord Chancellor. 

But the 60-year-old's record shows he has voted against gay rights since the 1990s.  
Ruth Davidson storms out of interview over DUP gay rights question
Mr. Lidington takes a traditional view of marriage and was one of just 47 MPs to vote against the civil partnerships bill in 2004, which other MPs who opposed gay marriage for religious reasons were happy to vote for.

According to the website, They Work For You, Mr. Lidington twice voted against allowing same-sex couples to marry in 2013.

He also voted against an amendment to the Adoption and Children Bill to allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

An Anglican, he told his local newspaper, The Bucks Herald, that the purpose of marriage was “not only to provide mutual love and commitment but also for the procreation and care of children.”

Between 1998 and 1999, he also voted three times against reducing the age of consent for gay sex from 18 to 16 to bring it in line with the law for heterosexual sex.

Mr. Lidington also voted to maintain a “ban on the promotion of homosexuality in schools” – not teaching children that some people are gay.  
Ireland’s prime minister warns Theresa May over deal with DUP
On other matters of equality, Mr. Lidington voted against making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste.

He also voted to remove the duty on the Commission for Equality and Human Rights to work to support the development of a society where people’s ability to achieve their potential is not limited by prejudice or discrimination.

As Justice Secretary Mr. Lidington, who is not a lawyer and has no legal background, will be responsible for overseeing the judiciary, the court system and prisons and probation in England and Wales. 

The Justice Secretary also oversees the UK Supreme Court and judicial appointments by the Crown.

Defenders of the Human Rights Act will be concerned that Mr. Lidington voted in favor of repealing it just last year. He also voted in favor of restricting the scope of legal aid and limiting fees paid to solicitors in no-win no-fee cases. 

He has been the Tory MP for Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire since 1992 but retained a relatively low profile, serving as a shadow minister of the environment and of Northern Ireland during the Blair and Brown years.  

Under David Cameron, he was the country’s longest-serving Minister for Europe and campaigned to remain in the EU. He was appointed Leader of the House of Commons by Ms. May when she became Prime Minister.
His predecessor, Liz Truss, the first woman to hold the job, lasted just 11 months has come under fire for her weak response following media attacks on High Court judges during the Article 50 High Court Hearing which saw them branded “enemies of the people”.

Following the announcement of his appointment, Mr. Lidington said he was “pleased and honored.”

In a statement, he said: “Democracy and freedom are built on the rule of law, and are protected by a strong and independent judiciary. I look forward to taking my Oath as Lord Chancellor, and to working with the Lord Chief Justice and his fellow judges in the months ahead, to ensure that justice is fairly administered and robustly defended.”

Mr. Lidington’s socially conservative views could line up well with those of the Democratic Unionist Party, which is currently in talks with senior Tories about an agreement which would keep Theresa May's minority government in power. 

The Northern Irish party's 10 parliamentary seats would give the prime minister a working majority of three on a "confidence and supply" basis.

But it has gained a reputation for its strong and controversial views on a number of social issues. It opposes same-sex marriage and is anti-abortion - with abortion remaining illegal in Northern Ireland, except in specific medical cases.

The new intake following the general election sees a record 45 out LGBT MPs in the House of Commons – seven percent of the total.

Tories including the party’s leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, have warned against allowing the DUP to influence social policy in any deal brokered to prop up the Government, although issues such as abortion and gay marriage are devolved.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Pink News newspaper: "LGBT rights are human rights. They must not be sold out by Theresa May and the Conservatives as they try to cling to power with the DUP.”


July 15, 2016

New Conservative UK’s PM Picks A Trump-like Character as Foreign Secretary


Boris Johnson has earned a reputation as Britain's most flamboyant politician, a man whose impressive vocabulary is matched only by his ability to offend at every turn. 
So eyebrows were raised when Britain's new prime minister, Theresa May, named Johnson as foreign secretary in her Cabinet on Wednesday. 
The job is one of the most senior roles in the British government. Like Secretary of State John Kerry, the British foreign secretary acts as the country's top diplomat. 
One problem: Johnson has a wild history of making stunningly undiplomatic comments about world leaders — the people he will now have to work with. Here are just a few: 

1. Hillary Clinton the 'Sadistic Nurse'  

As well as his $180,000 government salary, Johnson also bags a cool $365,000 per year to write a weekly column in Britain's Daily Telegraph. 
In Nov. 2007, he used his column to endorse Hillary Clinton during her first presidential bid. Except he had a rather strange way of showing his support. 
"She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital," he wrote of the Democratic candidate
Clinton, he said, had carried out the job of First Lady like "Lady Macbeth, stamping her heel, bawling out subordinates and frisbeeing ashtrays at her erring husband."  In fact, Johnson's only reason for supporting Clinton was because he wanted her husband back in the White House. 
"For all who love America, it is time to think of supporting Hillary, not because we necessarily want her for herself but because we want Bill in the role of First Husband," he said.  

Boris Johnson boxes with a trainer during a visit to Fight for Peace Academy in North Woolwich, London, in October 2014. LEON NEAL / AFP - Getty Images

During the Brexit referendum, Johnson was one of the leading voices of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. 
This put him on the opposite side of the argument to President Barack Obama, and Johnson — the New York-born former London mayor — didn't pull any punches. 
Writing in The Sun tabloid, Johnson called Obama a "part-Kenyan president" — referring to the birth country of Obama's father — and said the president had an "ancestral dislike of the British empire." 
Johnson said Obama's views on the EU were "incoherent ... inconsistent and ... downright hypocritical." 
Lawmakers from Britain's opposition Labour Party reacted furiously, calling the comments "dog-whistle racism," saying Johnson was a "moron" and accusing him of espousing "the worst Tea Party rhetoric." 
Although Obama didn't react directly to Johnson's jibe, the White House had previously dismissed the former London mayor's "well-established reputation for rhetorical flourishes."  

3. Trump’s 'Stupefying Ignorance' 

It's not just Democrats that Johnson has been busy offending. After Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," the U.K.'s new foreign secretary took aim. 
He said Trump was "clearly out of his mind" and that his "ill-informed comments are complete and utter nonsense." 
He accused the Republican of "stupefying ignorance" for suggesting immigration had created "no-go" areas of London. 
"I would invite him to come and see the whole of London … except that I wouldn't want to expose Londoners to any risk of meeting Donald Trump," he said. "The only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump."  4. Putin as Dobby the House Elf'

4. Putin as 'Dobby the House Elf' 
Johnson provided one of his typically humorous assessments on Russian President Vladimir Putin in Dec. 2015, comparing the leader to a character from the "Harry Potter" franchise. 
"Despite looking a bit like Dobby the House Elf, he is a ruthless and manipulative tyrant," Johnson said, writing in his Telegraph column
Like with his comments on Clinton, Johnson’s insult was soon followed by something resembling a support of the Russian leader, arguing that the West should do a deal with Putin over the Syrian civil war.

5. A Very Rude Poem About Erdogan 
In March, British politics magazine The Spectator ran a competition to see who could write the most offensive poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 
This was in response to a lawsuit brought by Erdogan against a German comedian who went on television and recited an insulting poem about the Turkish leader. 
The Spectator's competition was won by Boris Johnson, who edited the magazine until 2005. 
His entry involved Erdogan and references to masturbation and sexual intercourse with a goat.
6. Allegations of Racism 
Johnson was forced to apologize for a 2002 newspaper column in which he used several racist words to describe the then-Prime Minister Tony Blair's visits to other countries. 
He suggested Blair would be greeted "with crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies" — an offensive term for a black child. He added that when the prime minister touched down in the Congo, the “tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles."  
It was not until 2008 that Johnson apologized for the words. He said they were taken out of context and was "very sad that people have been so offended." 
He added: “I'm absolutely 100 per cent anti-racist, I despise and loathe racism," and urged black Londoners who were outraged by the comments to "move on" and focus on other issues.

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