C’mon guys – some of these questions need to be raised properly not just via twitter – disappointing but hopefully someone out there (mps and gay orgs) are going to ask parliamentary questions with proper answers and PN is going to report them???
I think it is important to keep the pressure via every means at our disposition. Twitter is one of them but of course not the only one.
For the record, I tweeted two questions as follows:
What will @WilliamJHague do to influence the human rights records of Russia and Qatar before the World Cup takes place there?
What will @WilliamJHague do to make the UN reinstate the reference to LGBT people in the resolution condemning violence?
There were several of us asking similar questions. They were very specific and could probably have been much more interesting to answer than the more general ones about human rights. I think so anyway.
Did anyone actually expect a suspected tory closet-case to answer questions on gay rights?
wonder if he’s taking his ‘adviser’ to the world cup?
For the record I did think he had a responsibility to answer any and all questions. Lots were asked about the McKinnon case: he didn’t answer them either.
HOWEVER the UK is not doing enough at the UN. We are not part of the ‘core group’ of countries advocating for LGBT human rights and I cannot locate one statement by our Ambassador. Type ‘gay’ or ‘LGBT’ into the FCO website and discover how little actually happens.
That should of course be ‘I did NOT think ,,, ‘
Bullies. ‘Nuff said.
I think the world cup and Qatar are a really good chance to get more attention paid to these countries and I think just issuing the advice “Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Qatar” on the FCO website isn’t good enough .- if this is the only advice available then FIFA should have taken LGBT considerations into account when giving Qatar the world cup and the FCO and the rest of the world should be issuing more detailed advice and putting pressure on Qatar, especially now since they’ve been given the world cup…
I agree they are good questions and I hope Twitter won’t be the only way of getting at the FCO…
I’ve been trying for ages to get a simple answer on where the British CP is recognised in Europe , the previous govt’s response was that it is simply to difficult to find out and I suspect I would get the same answer from this govt…
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in which overseas countries civil partnerships entered into in the UK are recognised. 
Maria Eagle: The Government do not hold definitive information on which overseas countries recognise UK civil partnerships, or under what terms. The laws of other countries are subject to change without notice, and in some cases can be ambiguous.
- simply just saying it’s too difficult or can’t interefer with a country’s soverinty or just saying the UK (by itself!!) will use it’s small influence to change things and then do nothing is feeble…..
We need less wooly answers!
PS – sorry the above comment made sound like I was Sarah Teather – I was just quoting what reply she had had on the answer!!!
SEXUAL ORIENTATION REFERENCE IN UN RESOLUTION ON EXECUTION14.12.2010
That this House notes with grave concern the vote of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation froma resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; believes that this constitutes the removal of the recognition of a particular vulnerability of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world where 76 countries criminalise homosexuality and five consider it a capital crime; and calls on the Government to condemn this decision and work with other governments to overturn this vote
How do these EDMs work???? 9 signatures???
just another interesting quote and should now be followed up after Ban Ki moon’s statement:
Ms Bagshawe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he made at UN level on the decision of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly to delete the reference to sexual orientation from its resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; 
(2) what discussions he has had with his UN counterparts on the decision of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly to delete the reference to sexual orientation from the resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government were very disappointed that the reference to sexual orientation was removed from the UN General Assembly resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Prior to the vote on this amendment, we made a statement objecting to the deletion of this reference:
“To accept this amendment would be to accept that this particularly vulnerable group of people do not deserve specific mention, perhaps even to suggest that they do not warrant the same protection from killings. To us this suggestion is an affront to equality and respect for human dignity.“
We voted against the amendment.
We are currently discussing the outcome of the resolution with like-minded countries. While we remain disappointed that the explicit mention of sexual orientation has been removed from language on “killings committed for any discriminatory reason”, we interpret the broad language which replaced it to include these types of killings, and will support the text as a whole in the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on that basis.
The Government continue to oppose violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all circumstances. We will continue to ¦45work bilaterally and through international organisations, including the UN, to promote and protect the rights of LGBT people.
Asked by Lord Watson of Invergowrie
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they will take following the vote on 16 November in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary executions.[HL4628]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): – same answer as above
On the issue of the UN vote to remove a reference to sexual orientation, one of the best things our government could now do is to introduce equal marriage rights.
Instead of pushing for legal recognition of UK ‘separate but equal’ civil partnerships in other countries, the government should encourage countries to legalise same-sex marriage around the world.
Dave, I totally agree with you. Notice how silent the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Tories have become in regard to marriage equality? Forget about StonewallUK. Check its website, not one word about it. Summerskill has said no more since he said he reversed his position on it. Unless we all make noise about it, it will never be on the front burner. Its absolutely a waste of time lobbying other countries to recognise CPs when it would be better to support full marriage equality. At least ten countries would recognise our marriages if we were allowed to get married. The only true activist doing anything about it is Peter Tatchell of course. Shame on our government and shame on StonewallUK.
Early Day Motions are a bit of a misnomer. They’re actually more like a petition of MPs seeking to express an opinion. Formally one will table a simple motion for discussion at an unspecified point in the future (“an early day”) and others can sign up to support it, but in practice the motion will never even be scheduled for discussion unless something exceptional happens.
Sometimes an EDM tries to draw attention to a subject (there’s a particularly tendency for lobby groups to write them and then badger MPs to sign them), sometimes they allow a tendency in a party to express dissent from the official policy, sometimes they do little more than allow an MP to get a bit of favourable publicity in the local press on a constituency matter without actually achieving anything .(A random example is EDM 40, which is just heaping praise on Blackpool FC for getting into the Premier League, with a side mention of their local community work. It’s tabled by the Blackpool South MP and will probably play well there but what precisely does it achieve?)
Because of this a lot of MPs regard EDMs as a waste of time and many will rarely sign them. They generate costs as well, both directly in operating them and indirectly as MPs have to reply to endless pro forma letters & emails demanding signatures. EDM 432 sums up this line of thinking quite well:
Elsewhere Tory closet and voting hypocrisy – from Daily Telegraph.
also note Stonewall’s apparent party bias.
The sexuality of the MP for Ribble Valley has long been the subject of speculation in Westminster, though he voted against lowering the homosexual age of consent to 18 in 1998.
A spokesman for Stonewall, the gay rights group, welcomed Mr Evans’s decision to disclose his sexuality.
“We are delighted that people in public life now feel open about their sexuality in the way they did not before.
“it is a pleasant surprise that there are now more openly gay Tory MPs than there are in all the other parties put together.” ”
shame on his voting record though !!
I wonder if anyone asked about his wife’s womb.
@ davie: Questions and comments about “his wife’s womb” would of course be tasteless and misogynist (woman hating) and therefore deeply inappropriate especially from anyone complaining about homophobia!
” I cannot locate one statement by our Ambassador”
Try here you will find plenty of statements and actions by British Ambassadors:
@Nicolas: Great questions…so let’s sub,it them formally to exactly the right place in the FCO. What kind of a sensible answer can you get on Twitter anyway?
Let’s come up with some concrete practical suggestions and ask nicely and see what happens. Seems to work in other places!
Facebook are censoring this image of not-gay William Hague