Irish PM tells Arab leaders to be more LGBT-friendly

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At a summit with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, Ireland’s Leo Varadkar has asked the leaders to respect LGBT community universally. The Irish Taoiseach, who is one of just three openly gay world leaders, made the intervention at the EU-Arab League of Nations summit in Egypt, explaining that Ireland also used to be a conservative and religious country, but now it is so LGBT-friendly that it is led by a gay man. “We have become leaders in advancing equality for women and members of the LGBT community. We have legalized both same sex marriage – the right to love – and abortion – the right to choose,” said Varadkar, according to Irish Independent, “I respect that every country has its own culture, traditions and religious beliefs. However, we believe these rights are universal.” So, he believes that criminalization of homosexuality in the majority of Arab countries can be changed in the nearest future. The declaration signed by leaders at the summit included no formal reference to LGBT+ rights, though it did include a commitment to “upholding of all aspects of international human rights law [and] condemnation of all forms of incitement to hatred, xenophobia and intolerance.”

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