The MU are sending a letter to Suella Braverman, condemning her intention to no longer recognise LGBT discrimination as a qualification for asylum. This move fails to protect LGBT+ people internationally, at a time when around 70 countries criminalise LGBT+ people, or in some cases retain a death penalty for same sex relations.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced her intention on Tuesday 26 September. We strongly believe this is a horrific move as it ignores the threat to life in countries and nations where being LGBT remains illegal and in some countries punishable by death.
The basis of asylum is to flee all kinds of persecution and the threat to life which globally remains an issue for LGBT people. We believe this is abhorrent and in direct contradiction to basic human rights. This would not be an improvement to a convention that has been in place for 70 years.
We need a Government that respects the lives of people facing persecution
MU Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, John Shortell pointed out the wider repercussions of the Government’s actions:
“The current Government are not just failing women and LGBT+ people in the UK by failing to tackle violence against women and girls and to tackle hate crimes against LGBT+ people, now they disappoint us further by failing women and LGBT+ people internationally.
“Simply being LGBT+ is enough to result in persecution or death in many countries. Around 70 countries still criminalise LGBT+ people and in some countries same sex relations are punishable by death.
“Instead of a Government that seeks to create fear and hostility against some of the most vulnerable people in society, we need a compassionate Government that respects the lives of people facing persecution.”
Take action now
Stand Up To Racism are organising a protest to show that Suella Braverman's comments cross the line, and the Home Office’s behaviour must be stopped. Members are encouraged to attend and show that refugees are welcome.
The protest organised by Stand Up To Racism will take place from 12:00 pm on Saturday 4 November outside the Home Office in London, with more details to be published on social media.
The MU's Refugee Membership allows refugee musicians to access the MU membership benefits and services for one year free of charge. Find out more, including how to join, on the MU Refugee Membership page.