Scotland has officially declared it will offer asylum to “any Ugandan” persecuted by the country’s new anti-gay laws.
Scotland’s external affairs minister Humza Yousaf penned a letter to Westminster Foreign Secretary William Hague urging the UK Government to make “strong representations” to Ugandan officials on the issue.
“The Scottish Government is deeply concerned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda has been signed into law,” read Humza’s letter.
“This is a huge step back for equality and I have written to the UK Government asking them to make the strongest possible representations to the government of Uganda.
“I have also urged the UK Foreign Secretary to offer asylum to any Ugandans who suffer threat or persecution as a result of the legislation.
“It goes without saying that Scotland, where possible, will play her part and assist the UK Government in providing asylum for those seeking refuge from this draconian law,” he added.
He adds that during the Games “no one from any part of the Commonwealth who visits Scotland will be under any doubt about our values as a welcoming, open and tolerant society”.
Humza’s comments follow concerns raised over the welcome being extended to countries with anti-gay laws during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, reports Herald Scotland.
41 nations in the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality, many of which date to British Empire legislation that was never repealed.
The Scottish Government is set to meet representatives of LGBT groups to discuss proposals on handling human rights issues ahead of the event, which takes place in Glasgow this summer.
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