Peter Tatchell: “No US Aid for Anti-Gay Regimes”
San Diego – USA – 21 July 2008
“We must urge the US State Department to make foreign aid and trade conditional on the recipient countries agreeing to respect human rights, including the human rights of LGBT people. Tyrannies should not be rewarded: No US aid for anti-gay regimes,” said LGBT human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
His appeal was delivered at the San Diego Pride Human Rights Vigil on Friday evening 18 July, where he was the keynote speaker. Mr Tatchell was particularly critical of US aid to “viciously homophobic countries like Jamaica, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Iraq and Nigeria.”
Mr Tatchell was International Grand Marshal at this year’s San Diego Pride celebrations.
At the vigil, Mr Tatchell praised San Diego-based gay reportor Rex Wockner for his 20-plus years of disseminating news of homophobic persecution worldwide and his reportage of the freedom struggles of LGBT people in every corner of the globe. He saluted Mr Wockner as “the greatest gay rights journalist of all time.”
Earlier, at lunchtime last Friday 18 July, Mr Tatchell joined San Diego LGBT groups and trade unions in a picket of the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego, where they called for a boycott.
The joint gay and union protest was over the hotel’s low wages and poor working conditions, and also over the owner’s funding of anti-gay lobby groups.
“Manchester Grand boss Douglas Manchester is financing attempts to overturn the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the state of California. He is funding Proposition 8, a referendum ballot scheduled for November that would amend the Californian constitution to state that marriage is only between a man and a woman – in effect reinstating the ban on same-sex marriage. He’s promoting
discrimination and everyone – gay and straight – should boycott his hotel,” said Mr Tatchell.
See Rex Wockner’s blog of the hotel protest:
Mr Wockner also has photos of Peter Tatchell speaking from the stage at the festival after the 150,000-strong San Diego Pride Parade on Saturday 20 July: