It’s time for solidarity in the fight against hate speech, according to Luxembourg’s Prime Minister.
Currently, there are three openly gay country leaders in the world. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, and Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. And now, Bettel is using his platform to speak for LGBTQ rights.
This past Tuesday, Bettel spoke in front of the United Nations and shared that everyone in the room had a duty to challenge homophobia and hate speech.
“We are all part and we all have a responsibility,” Bettel told an LGBT+ meeting during the U.N.’s annual General Assembly, according to Reuters.
“This starts from … your politicians but it goes also to a family evening, to dinner with friends, with family. If they have hate speech you can never accept it.”
According to Bettel, who married his civil partner in 2015 and became the first serving leader in the European Union to marry someone of the same sex, homophobia is a “personal choice.” Meanwhile being gay is not a choice. As such, we must fight against homophobia.
These words mirror ones shared my Bettel back in February during a summit between the Europeon Union and the Arab League. The Arab League holds several countries that still enforce the death penalty or capital punishment for gay sex.
“President al-Sisi (of Egypt) did a speech to ask for more religious freedom,” Bettel told the U.N.’s LGBTI Core Group, whose 27 member countries include Argentina, the United States and Albania.
“I just answered I want more tolerance to women, more tolerance to opinions, but also in … the Arab league, in half the countries I wouldn’t be able to speak because I would be condemned to death.”
These words also mirror ones shared by Irish Prime Minister Varadkar when meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence earlier this year.
“I lived in a country where, if I tried to be myself at the time, I would have ended up breaking laws,” he said. “But today that has all changed. I stand here leader of my country, flawed and human, but judged by my political actions and not my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender, or religious beliefs.”
“We are, after all, all God’s children,” he added.