Video: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Martina Navratilova back Free & Equal campaign

December 17, 2013
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A United Nations campaign group has released a video featuring UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, tennis legend Martina Navratilova and NBA star Jason Collins speaking on the importance of defending LGBT rights.

The short video was filmed at an event called “Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia” held at the UN on Human Rights Day last Tuesday.

When Jason Collins came out this year he got a phone call from President Obama congratulating him. 1981, President Reagan was in power, so I did not get that phone call,” said Navratilova.

“It’s very easy to discriminate against intersex women because we’re closeted,” said US intersex activist Hida Viloria.

“That’s why even though intesex is 1.7% of the population, as common as having red hair, you don’t all know that you know an intersex person.”

Navratilova slammed the International Olympic Committee for “putting their head in the sand” over LGBT rights at the UN event last week.

She accused the IOC not taking a stand against Russia, which is hosting February’s Winter Olympics and passed a law banning “gay propaganda” in June.

On Tuesday, former Labour minister Denis MacShane called on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to personally boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in protest at President Vladimir Putin’s “rank homophobia”.

Yesterday, French President Francois Hollande became the most high profile leader to snub the opening ceremony of the Games.

Last week, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding announced on her official Twitter account that she would “certainly not go to Sochi as long as minorities are treated the way they are under the current Russian legislation.”

German President Joachim Gauck also said he would not go to the Games.

However, both President Hollande and President Gauck have failed to state their official reasons for not attending – although some have suggested it’s because of Russia’s anti-gay laws.

Last Thursday, President Vladimir Putin defended the laws by saying that they protect against the “destruction of traditional values”.

Related topics: Gay rights, Homophobia, Jason Collins, lgbt community, LGBT rights, Martina Navratilova, transphobia, UN, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, united nations, US

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