Friday , 23 August 2019

Anti-gay minister Warsi resigns over UK stance on Gaza

Baroness Warsi
Baroness Warsi

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi today resigned from her government posts as minister of Faith and Foreign Office minister in protest at its policy on Gaza, describing it as “morally indefensible”.

The Conservative party peer was criticised in May this year for meeting with the Sultan of Brunei while declining to raise the issue of his country’s new anti-LGBTI laws.

Warsi also fudged her promise to vote for the England and Wales same-sex marriage law in the House of Lords, abstaining instead.

Last year, after facing mounting criticism for her opposition to equality and voicing at times homophobic views, Baroness Warsi admitted that she had been “on the wrong side of history” when it came to LGBTI rights.

In addition, she made an apology for homophobic leaflets distributed on her behalf when she stood unsuccessfully as the MP for Dewsbury in 2005.

Warsi announced her resignation via Twitter on Tuesday, stating: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza.”

In her tweeted resignation letter, the peer said the government’s “approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically”.

According to Warsi the government’s stance was “not consistent with the rule of law and our long support for international justice” and that it is not “an honest broker.”

The Scottish government has condemned the Israeli invasion of Gaza, as a response to rocket fire, as “disproportionate”  calling upon Westminster “to exert further pressure on Israel”.

Earlier today, Alex Salmond, First Minster of Scotland, called for an arms embargo against Israel following its actions in Gaza.

Scottish External Affairs Minister, Humza Yousaf, who supports LGBTI rights voiced his support for Warsi’s decision, on his Facebook page, stating: “Deepest respect to Baroness Warsi. Can understand why she cannot support the UK Government’s policy on Gaza it has been weak. I hope this demonstrates the urgency of action we need from them.”

Speaking with KaleidoScot, LGBTI rights campaigner Garry Otton of the Scottish Secular Society said he welcomed “the resignation of this homophobic and religiously divisive minister.

“We should never undermine secularism by having Baroness Warsi as a Minister for Faith or by having 26 unelected bishops in the House of Lords: the highest legislature of the land.

“They have debated, curtailed, thwarted and nobbled just about every aspect of LGBTI rights.” Otton also added his view that this issue highlights why Scotland should become an “independent democracy with a secular constitution.”

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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