UK minister criticized for ‘tone-deaf’ comments about gay fans World Cup – National

brother Secretary of State James Cleverly faced criticism Wednesday after saying he was gay football fans heading to World Cup In Qatar that they should show some “compromise” and “respect for the host country.”

The comments were quickly disagreed by the Prime Minister By Rishi Sunak while a senior figure in the opposition Labor Party called them “astonishingly deaf”.

Homosexuality is criminalized in Qatar and Cleverly was asked about it after British activist Peter Tatchell was questioned by police after organizing a one-man protest in front of the National Museum of Qatar, holding up a sign accusing the country of imprisoning members of LGBTQ community.

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“I’ve talked to the Qatari authorities before about how gay football fans will come to watch the World Cup and how they’re treating our fans and international fans,” Cleverly told the radio. LBC. “They want to make sure that football fans are safe, secure and enjoying themselves, and they know that means they will have to make some compromises about an Islamic country. with a very different set of cultural standards than we do. private.

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“One of the things I want to say to football fans is, you know, respect the host country. They’re trying to make sure everyone can be themselves and enjoy football, and I think with a little flexibility and compromise on both ends, it could be a safe, sure World Cup. and interesting. “

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Qatar said all are welcome at the World Cup, including LGBTQ fans, but visitors should respect the country’s conservative culture, where public displays of affection – even between the opposite sex – is taboo.

Qatari law requires one to three years in prison for adults convicted of gay or lesbian crimes. European football federations last month announced their intention for captains to wear the rainbow heart-shaped captain’s armband as part of a campaign against discrimination in international matches.

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Downing Street was quick to dismiss Cleverly’s language, saying people don’t need to “compromise who they are.”

Opposition parties also criticized Cleverly’s comments, with SNP Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald tweeting: “The secretary of state appears to be in essence advising World Cup-goers in Qatar to show respect and not be human. homosexual. This is disgusting.”

Labor shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell said: “This is a shocking tone from James Cleverly. Sports should be open to all. Many fans will feel they cannot attend this tournament to cheer on their team because of Qatar’s record of human rights, workers and LGBT+. “

& copy 2022 Canadian Press


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