Theresa May under fire for changing her mind about gay rights

Russian foreign minister says claims of abuse are ‘not based on fact’

Court won’t be ‘intimidated’ on gay marriage stance


Theresa May under fire for changing her mind about gay rights


Theresa May’s support for LGBT people was called into question at an election hustings in which parties laid out their policies regarding equality issues.


In 2010, Theresa May distanced herself from her voting record on LGBT issues, including voting against gay adoption in 2002 and voting against the repeal of Section 28, which banned councils from “promoting” homosexuality, in 2000.


There was agreement from the representative of all parties present on a range of issues, including the need for more protection of the rights of LGBT people around the world and the need for concerted action to tackle hate crimes against LGBT people.


Russian foreign minister says claims of abuse are ‘not based on fact’


Russia’s foreign minister has sought to downplay allegations of abuse of gay men in Chechnya, saying there is “not a single concrete fact” in the case despite mounting evidence collected by human rights group and Russian journalists.


Newspaper Novaya Gazeta first raised the issue of LGBT persecution in April in a report that suggested dozens of men were being abducted, tortured and in some cases killed because of their sexuality.


Commenting on those reports, which were corroborated by a Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation published on Friday, Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, said: “We don’t see one concrete fact… on the issue of accusations of rights abuses of LGBT representatives in Chechnya or other parts of the Russian federation.”


HRW said last week it had spoken to six former detainees who said Chechen officials, including two high-level figures, were complicit in the humiliation and torture of illegally-held inmates suspected of being gay.


Their captors were said to have exposed them to their families as gay and encouraged their relatives to carry out “honour killings”.


A spokesman for Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, called reports of abuse “absolute lies and disinformation” and said “you can’t detain and repress people who simply don’t exist in the republic”.


Court won’t be ‘intimidated’ on gay marriage stance


Australian tennis great Margaret Court says she feels bullied by a fierce backlash over her views on gay marriage, but has vowed not to be “intimidated”.


The 24-time Grand Slam champion, now a Christian pastor, caused controversy by announcing last week she would stop flying Qantas “where possible” in protest at the airline’s support of same-sex marriage.


It sparked calls, led by Martina Navratilova and supported by Richel Hogenkamp, one of the few openly gay players in tennis, for the Australian Open to take her name off one of its flagship stadiums.


Court, 74, said she had the right to air her views.

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