London Mayor Boris Johnson has been accused of “scaremongering” for urging gay UK residents to vote for Brexit, saying that LGBT rights are under threat in EU member states.
Johnson, a vocal member of the Leave campaign which seeks the UK’s departure from the European Union, argued that the EU could talk no credit for Britain’s progressive attitudes to gay equality.
In a video posted by pro-Brexit LGBT group Out and Proud, Johnson said: “I’m very proud to say, we in Britain have the most progressive attitudes towards LGBT issues anywhere in the world and it’s a wonderful thing to see.
“But let me ask you a question. Did those rights and those freedoms, that spirit, come from the European Union? Or did it come from people campaigning from our courts, our Parliament?
“It was us, the British people, that created that environment of happiness and contentment for LGBT people and it is absolutely vital that we fight for those rights today because they are under threat in Poland, in Hungary, in Romania, and other parts of the EU where they are not protected in the way they are in our country.
“What we need is to take back control for LGBT issues and everything else folks. Come on. I’m out and I’m proud.”
Johnson’s comments were not well received by those within the Vote To Stay camp, including Liberal Democrat peer Lord Paddick who accused the Mayor of London of “scaremongering”.
“It is distasteful and plain wrong for Boris Johnson to use the LGBT record of countries like Poland as a reason for Britain to leave the EU,” he said.
“The EU has acted as a beacon for LGBT rights, advancing tolerance and understanding both within its member states and around the world.
“For example, any same-sex marriage that is agreed in one EU country must be respected in all others. LGBT people are better off in Europe, and Boris Johnson needs to stop scaremongering.”
Watch Johnson’s video below.
For those who couldn’t make it along to our launch party last night, here’s the special message Boris Johnson sent us. Find out more at www.outandproud.org.uk
Posted by Out and Proud UK on Thursday, 24 March 2016
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