Carwyn: Time to speak up

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones is in Uganda this week to see the impact Welsh funded aid projects are having.

But there’s one group in Uganda that don’t seem to have made it onto the First Minister’s agenda and it’s a group that can’t afford to be left off. Uganda’s LGBT community who, already persecuted, are anxiously waiting to see if President Museveni will sign into law a bill that will criminalise not only “homosexual acts” but campaigning for LGBT equality.

Welsh LGBT groups have rightly called for Carwyn to use this visit as an opportunity to lobby the President to reject the bill and we echo that call.

In addition we’d ask Carwyn to take it a step further by meeting with LGBT groups on the ground, letting them know that their struggle for equality is one in which they have global support.

But this can’t just be about one visit, we’re asking the Welsh Government to ensure that supporting LGBT equality is core to their international work because, as the only Labour Government in the UK, they have a responsibility to uphold Labour values of equality and justice.

Carwyn and Welsh Labour have a great record when it comes to supporting LGBT rights and the Wales for Africa Programme is a testimony to their internationalist credentials, and as countries the world over pass legislation that criminalises the LGBT community these agendas have been more linked than ever.

For most people the first full week of January is a non starter, the week where they trudge back to work and make promises that they’ll burn off the festive pounds in the gym, it’s not usually a week where people expect to make much of a difference. 

But this week could be very different one for Carwyn Jones. 

This week he could use his influence to save lives and send a message that LGBT rights aren’t just an afterthought in international diplomacy but are front and centre.

 

Estelle Hart, 

LGBT Labour Prides Officer