Mark Stephens is Chair of the Board of Governors at the University of East London (UEL) and a high profile lawyer – well known for his various media appearances talking about erm, well, the media.
He caused a bit of a stir this week when he spoke at the increasingly thrusting and energetic UEL as part of their series of public lectures. His talk was entitled: ‘Rainbow Legacy: why we must assert the rights of the international LGBT community during the Olympic Games’ and he suggested a very practical way that LGBT athletes could improve their own rights, and those of their countrymen as well as highlighting the issue of continued criminalisation of homosexuality in 84 participant countries.
He stated: “I invite LGBT athletes who don’t feel safe to apply for asylum in this country on the grounds that you will face persecution at home if you are open about your sexual identity. The British Government will have to hear your application, and in doing so, they will have to engage with the human rights abuses perpetrated against the LGBT communities across the world.”