John M. Becker

Richard Branson Speaks Out for LGBT Rights in Africa

Filed By John M. Becker | January 17, 2014 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: Africa, anti-LGBT laws, Nigeria, persecution, Richard Branson, Uganda

"Last month I spoke out on the dreadful situation in Uganda... We are now working with Ugandan business people to put together a strong list of like-minded entrepreneurs and companies to appeal to the Ugandan President to not sign the bill into law. In other countries where civil rights of individuals are being abused we are also working with like-minded business people to tackle this sort of discriminatory behaviour. Ideally, businesses and organisations should work with governments to try to change their attitudes from within countries.

"I have spoken out against discrimination on many occasions, from supporting equal marriage to challenging Malaysia's leaders on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's trial. Next week I am going to meet government leaders from countries including Nigeria to discuss issues such as gay rights and try to encourage progress. We want to work with governments around the world - in countries we do and don't operate in - to change attitudes for the better. Everyone should speak out to ensure people are free to love whoever they want.

"Those politicians passing draconian laws against gay people may discover their own children were born gay. Would they really want to see them locked up for life? Or tortured? We need love and understanding not punishment."

-- British billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson, going to bat for persecuted LGBT communities in Africa.

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