Sadiq Khan says London LGBT+ community will help fight worldwide rights risk
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said London’s LGBT+ community are key to what makes the city a global leader on rights and that we must not be complacent, facing a risk around the world of those rights being denied or even reversed.
Speaking to PinkNews, the Mayor said that he was attending Pride to “Celebrate the best of humanity, the best of London but also the massive contribution the LGBT+ community makes to our city. Economically, socially, culturally – we cannot be complacent.
“It is still the case in 2018 that our fellow Londoners are suffering discrimination, persecution, some hate crimes simply for being who they are and that cannot be right.
“So as the Mayor of London it’s important that I’m here as an ally, to show my solidarity but also to send a message around the world that one of the reasons we are the greatest city in the world is that we don’t simply tolerate the LGBT+ community, we embrace it, we respect it and we celebrate it.”
Khan acknowledged that there is a genuine risk, even in the UK and London, that LGBT+ rights could not only slow in progress but even begin to be reversed. He echoed a call voiced by Diane Abbott for London and the UK to do more for LGBT+ people seeking asylum.
He said “One of the wonderful things about the last few decades is the progress that we’ve made in our city and in our country. We mustn’t be complacent, though.
“In the past we’ve discussed how we can speed up progress but now I’m really concerned it could go backwards, not just in London but around the country.
“And one of the things that makes me worry about that is what I’m seeing around the world. We’re seeing the persecution of people because of who they are, because of who they love around the world – suffering real danger to themselves, their families or who they love.
“We’ve got to be a beacon for the rest of the world but we’ve also got to provide a helping hand.”
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He continued “We can’t be selfish and say ‘you know what, things aren’t bad here so we’re just going to keep what we’ve got and forget about the rest of the world. We can show the world how we did it, we can lead by example – not in an arrogant way but by saying ‘you know what, this is how we did it.’
We know that when London speaks, the world listens. The world watches. And we’ve got a big advocacy role to play, as well, in making sure that we promote LGBT+ rights.”
Khan finished by acknowledging the role the LGBT+ community has played in promoting all areas of human rights –
“And you know what, the LGBT+ community should be so proud – they’ve played a big role in promoting LGBT+ rights, they’ve played a big role in promoting rights in relation to race, in relation to gender, in relation to religious belief, in relation to age, in relation to disability. You have shown that it’s important to make sure there’s equality full stop.”
Khan was supposed to lead the Pride in London parade, with NHS staff to celebrate 70 years of national healthcare. However, the parade was allowed to be hijacked by anti-trans protestors which Pride in London attributed to hot weather.