London Mayor flies rainbow flag in a show of tolerance

London Mayor flies rainbow flag in a show of tolerance May 18, 2016

Yesterday, May 17, was International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia,  and – in a move that would no doubt have enraged religious conservatives – the newly-elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan hoisted a rainbow flag outside the City Hall to mark IDAHOT.
According to Pink News, the Labour Mayor is one of the country’s most prominent pro-LGBT Muslim politicians.
He has been candid about receiving death threats from some hardline Islamist preachers after voting in favour of same-sex marriage in 2013, and is a strong voice for tolerance.
Khan told Pink News in a statement:

I could not be more proud to help celebrate IDAHOT 2016 by flying the Pride flag here at City Hall.
I was elected on a pledge to be Mayor for all Londoners and I will work with the LGBT+ community – as I will with all communities – to do everything I can to make London a more tolerant, fairer place to live.
This is personal to me because I have been on the receiving end of hate crime, which has no place in our city, and I know how devastating it can be.

Speaking to Pink News earlier this year, Khan pledged to take a tough stance on homophobic hate crimes as Mayor. He said:

I’ve been the victim of hate crime – anybody who is a minority is potentially the victim of hate crime. Whether you’re an ethnic minority, you’re lesbian gay, trans, religious minority, a woman, disabled, to me it’s personal because I have been on the receiving end.

Khan also said he would restore the Mayor’s role attending London’s annual Gay Pride event, which former Mayor Boris Johnson had missed every year since 2010.
When Khan was elected Mayor, members of Pakistan’s ruling party were jubilant, as the photo below shows. They may now be having second thoughts.

Meanwhile, it is reported here that a transgender police officer – Constable Mairead Devlin – said he was “humbled and proud” to become the first person to raise the rainbow LGBTI flag outside Brisbane’s police headquarters to mark IDAHOT.
The move was aimed at demonstrating the Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) support for the LGBTI  community.
The 22-year-old said he joined the service in 2013 and transitioned from female to male from late 2014.
But a sour note was struck this week at the United Nations, where – according to this report – a group of 51 Muslim states  blocked 11 gay and transgender organisations from attending a high-level meeting at the UN next month on ending Aids
Egypt wrote to the President of the 193-member general assembly on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to object to the participation of the 11 groups. It did not give a reason in the letter.
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, above, then wrote to the general assembly President, Mogens Lykketoft, saying that the groups appeared to have been blocked for involvement in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy.
UN officials said the EU and Canada also wrote to Lykketoft to protest against the objections by the OIC group, whose members include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Sudan and Uganda.
The issues of LGBT rights and participation in events at the UN have long been contentious. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has advocated for LGBT equality but faced opposition from African, Arab and Muslim states as well as Russia and China.
Power wrote:

We are deeply concerned that at every negotiation on a new general assembly gathering, the matter of NGO [non-governmental organisation] participation is questioned and scrutinised.  The movement to block the participation of NGOs on spurious or hidden grounds is becoming epidemic and severely damages the credibility of the UN.

In 2014, Ban said the UN would recognise all same-sex marriages of its staff, allowing them to receive its benefits. Russia, with the support of 43 states including Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, India, Egypt, Pakistan and Syria, unsuccessfully tried to overturn the move last year.
In February, the 54-member African Group, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the 25-member Group of Friends of the Family led by Belarus, Egypt and Qatar protested about six new UN stamps promoting LGBT equality.
Hat tip: Peter Sykes (UN report)

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  • Broga

    “He has been candid about receiving death threats from some hardline Islamist preachers……”
    I suppose that is inevitable. I hope he gets the support his courage and decency deserves.

  • L.Long

    Tell the isLamic aholes to piss off! They will still sell their oil as they need food. Good show for the London Mayor, and again the religious dimwits can go put their heads in the toilets..its easier then up their butts!

  • tonye

    I must admit I would not have expected that to happen, well done.

  • Bob

    God gave them over to a reprobate mind – Romans 1 v 28; Sadiq Khan is grievously to be pitied.

  • Broga

    @Bob: Try to understand. There is no God so he did not do anything. Any pity should be for you and your weird beliefs.
    Is it true, as alleged, that you behaved badly to your wife? If so, where were, and what are, your Christian principles. I only ask as an atheist, married in a Register Office and very happily married for almost 50 years.
    I suppose this is one of the comments you cannot afford to answer. Your belief is so fragile, your moral courage so lacking, that you are prepared to unload your “truths” but must run away cowering when faced with a challenging question. Put up or shut up.

  • Bonker

    Let’s hope that we never have to read the headline …”London Mayor hacked to death by islamist fundamentalist hit squad”.

  • remigius

    Broga, every couple of years someone confuses Bob ‘Potty’ Hutton with Stephen ‘Wifebeater’ Green.

  • Bob

    @Broga this is the first I’ve heard of any such allegation, you may be confusing me with Stephen Green who was falsely accused of domestic abuse.

  • Broga

    @Bob: Thank you. I understand. The confusion is entirely my fault. Please accept my apologies.

  • Broga

    @remigius: Thanks. I got it wrong. My fault. I have apologised.

  • barriejohn

    MI6 flew the flag as well. Several Daily Mail readers were taken to hospital suffering from the vapours.
    # Oh great more PC crap things like this shouldn’t be allowed on public buildings.
    # Stonewall has too much power and claims to represent certain people. MI6’s ‘signing up’ is inappropriate in the extreme.
    # We can raise this flag in England but not the George Cross.

    Didn’t know that!

  • In religion words mean their opposite. For example, “hardline Islamist preachers” sounds like these men are a minority who distort Islam. Instead they are the majority practicing Islam as it has been practiced for over a thousand years. Which says something ugly about Islam, now doesn’t it? Something ugly and something true.

  • Marcus

    Bob, my old darling, if Stephen “Birdshit” Green was “falsely accused” of abuse, surely he would have sued the arse off of the media that carried details of his violent behaviour.

  • John

    The rainbow flag is also the flag of the International Co-operative Movement. Sadiq Khan was Labour & Co-operative MP for Tooting so by flying this one flag he reaches two sets of constituencies.

  • barriejohn

    John: Interesting, but the Cooperative Movement no longer flies the rainbow flag, and theirs had seven bands in any case.

  • Cali Ron

    Bob: I’ve noted that you make comments here and then usually don’t have the balls to respond to questions directed at you, but you responded to an apology, indicating you are regularly reading the comments on this site. Admit it Bob, you have doubts about your religion and god and are envious of the atheists and freethinkers here certainty, resolve and peaceful acceptance of their being no god. It’s OK, being an atheist requires no commitment or money to any organization, no demonizing or intolerance to any particular group and no more guilt over your desires and feelings. In spite of your past insults and derogatory comments about atheist you would be welcomed with open arms.

  • 1859

    @ Cali Ron – you’re asking Bob to be intellectually open to new ideas and, above all, honest with himself. I fear he’s too far gone for that.

  • Michael Glass

    Good on Sadiq Khan!

  • Bob

    @cali Ron
    I have absolutely NO DOUBTS about my “religion”, as you call it.
    My faith in Christ as grown and strengthened over the years and I’m now more sure than ever (after 40 years as a believer in Christ) that Jesus is Lord.
    @Broga – many thanks, apology accepted and no hard feelings.
    @Marcus – suing people is not always wise. Even if you win the case you will still find the media making insinuations etc.

  • If he didn’t support gay rights the left would ruin his career. It is in his own interests to appear moderate and ‘inclusive’.