|Elton and John Barrowman back global rights group
Thursday, July 5 2012
A major new international gay rights campaign was launched July 4, 2012 supported by stars including Elton John and John Barrowman.
The campaign entitled 'Imagine if it were illegal for you to be you' is designed to win support for the human rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people wherever it's a crime to be gay. The Kaleidoscope Trust is calling on people — whether they are gay or not — to sign up to a massive international protest demanding an end to laws that criminalise homosexuality.
Elton John said: "Just imagine what it would be like if it were illegal to have blue eyes, or be under 5'10" tall. Just imagine if something you could do nothing about meant you could go to prison, or face attack or even death. In no fewer that 78 countries around the world homosexual acts are still illegal. In five of them the maximum penalty is death. Until equality is something respected everywhere and there is universal acceptance of human rights for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity I will continue to speak my mind. I have the freedom to do so and nobody can take it away from me. Every other gay person in the world deserves the same."
On July 4, 2012 John Barrowman unveiled a video asking people to imagine "What if it were illegal for you to be you?" The video shows people being persecuted and attacked for things they can do nothing about — having blue eyes or being short. The video, which will be released on the Kaleidoscope Trust website and on YouTube, has been produced by advertising agency M&C Saatchi.
John Barrowman said: "I've had a sneak preview of this video and it's powerful stuff. It brings home to people how they would feel if some crazy law made it illegal for them simply to be themselves. What if it was illegal for me to want to sing? Or to have an American accent? As it happens, I'm gay. When the Kaleidoscope Trust pointed out to me that it's illegal to be gay in so many countries around the world I was staggered by the figures. People — whether gay or straight - need to wake up to the scale of the injustice that is going on out there. We are all human beings and we all deserve the same rights. And that includes the right to love whoever we choose to love."
Harjeet Johal, Deputy Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said: "It is hoped that this film will come as a timely reminder that whatever freedoms we may enjoy in Britain, those same freedoms are denied to millions of others around the globe. London will be hosting a 'World Pride' this weekend. While we celebrate our own freedoms we are determined that nobody should forget the millions of people who are made criminals in their own countries because of their sexuality. It should never be a crime to be gay."
The public can join the campaign at: www.kaleidoscopetrust.com.
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