World Cup ambassador from Qatar denounces homosexuality
The United Arab Emirates’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said he will not visit the World Cup opening ceremony in Brazil after receiving letters of support from LGBT rights activists.
The crown prince wrote a letter in support of a British woman who was the target of online abuse for having a lesbian kiss on air in December.
Sheila O’Malley, an LGBT rights consultant and former Liberal Democrat MP, and her partner, who is a Labour councillor in Islington, London, were attacked for kissing as people in a background video of the broadcast were watching the BBC One football programme The Debate.
The BBC defended its decision to air the programme as the best way to air a contentious topic in an entertaining manner.
The Crown Prince wrote to O’Malley and the Labour councillor’s partner saying he had been “stunned” after receiving the support from the LGBT community.
The crown prince wrote, adding: “I also agree with you on this one…. I will not visit your country for the World Cup and your country’s people for that matter.”
He then addressed the LGBT community in his letter.
Sheila O’Malley said: “I will never forget the day he [The Crown Prince] said he would not visit my partner and I at the World Cup opening ceremony in Brazil.
“I will not let him dictate how I should live my life and was very upset and shocked that he said this to my face.
“I will never forget the phone call that night from him when he called and said that he would not visit me, and he hung up the phone.
“I would not be human if I did not have my dignity, and I can never forgive him for this.”
Ms O’Malley said that she had been “deeply affected” by the reaction of the community and the support from the community in her local community.
She said that she will be spending this weekend in her local community at a Pride event and “beyond that time, and I will be doing some