Nick Clegg paid a visit to Pride House in Glasgow to hear about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights across the Commonwealth and sports. As well as speaking to campaigners, athletes and volunteers, he also viewed exhibitions exploring the treatment of LGBT people in the Commonwealth.
Pride Houses are venues that welcome LGBT athletes, fans and others during international sporting events. The Glasgow Pride House was set up by LEAP Sports, a charity that promotes LGBT access and equality in sports in Scotland.
The Commonwealth core values and principles which all Commonwealth countries sign up to are pretty clear. They say that ‘We are committed to equality and respect for the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights’.
Yet almost 80% of Commonwealth countries (42 out of 53 countries) represented here in Glasgow this week criminalise homosexuality in some way.
We’ve come a long way in this country towards achieving the genuine equality that LGBT people have always wanted and deserved. This includes last year’s landmark equal marriage reform. Yet there’s still a huge amount to be done across the world.
We can’t dictate how other nations behave but we can promote the principles we believe in – of a fair and open society both in the UK and abroad.
That is why my colleague Lynne Featherstone is leading an LGBT policy review, which was set up in response to the passage of Uganda’s new and draconian anti-homosexuality law.
When it’s published, I hope it will help us hardwire LGBT rights into our entire human rights agenda - through every bilateral meeting, every multilateral relationship and every corner of the world.