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Developing Countries: Homophobia

Volume 495: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to combat homophobia in developing countries. (282285)

I have been asked to reply.

The UK believes that every state has an obligation to protect the rights of all its citizens, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) people, without discrimination of any kind. We regularly raise this with governments of countries where the rights of LGBT people are violated. In countries where same sex relationships are illegal, we continue to press for decriminalisation.

In 2008 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office launched a “toolkit” designed to provide guidance to our posts to help them in lobbying host governments to protect LGBT rights. We work extensively through the EU and other actors to promote LGBT rights including through wider equality and non-discrimination initiatives. At the end of 2008, the UK was heavily involved in lobbying for support for the joint UN Statement on the Rights of LGBT people at the UN General Assembly. This was supported by a number of developing countries.