Lewis Hamilton gave LGBTI groups yet another reason to cheer as the driver defended his decision to attend a conference that highlighted conservative Muslim views on homosexuality.
The top-ranked Formula One driver was due to speak on Saturday at the Emirates NOMAD event, a two-day conference held at the Al Qasr hotel. It was a gathering of people who wanted to “understand how to live differently,” organizers said.
While FIFA prevented other top soccer officials from speaking at the conference because it was not affiliated with the organization, all of the Formula One managers were allowed to participate.
The topic of homosexuality is contentious in the conservative Muslim world. Islam prohibits men and women from having sexual relations outside of marriage, but in many parts of the world, including Qatar, homosexuality is legally outlawed.
Yet Qatar is also infamous for its tolerance of gays, and LGBTQ activists are increasingly coming out of the closet, or even flaunting their sexual orientation in public.
“Qatar has always been a great place for equality and for LGBTI rights,” Hamilton said. “It is great to have such a strong foundation for that. It’s clear, that this is a country that cares and wants to progress.”
Sources: Mirror, RaceUniverse
Photo Credit: Formula1.com via Mirror