Copenhagen International Human Rights Conference

An international conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender human rights entitled “Love of Freedom, Freedom to Love,” is now going on in Copenhagen. Danish Socialist MP Kamal Hameed Qureshi, a heterosexual born in Pakistan, told the conference how he had to overcome prejudice and bigotry among family members and his community in order to speak out in favor of human rights for those whose sexual preferences did not fit normal ideas of Muslims. He emphasized the experience of growing up as a minority person in Denmark had sensitized him to issues of those who daily encounter bigotry and prejudice. Qureshi noted that while Denmark recognizes same-sex marriages the law dictates they can not take place in a church, let alone a mosque.

The Danish MP argued for an ombudsman who would deal with issues of sexual equality. Among the surprising aspects of his talk was discussion how there are already signs of change towards gays and lesbians in his conservative Muslim Pakistan community. Most probably, this arises from living in a multicultural society in which law supports the premise of equality for all members of the community.