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Steps: Ian ‘H’ Watkins says band turned down gig in Dubai over nation’s ‘archaic’ LGBT+ legal guidelines | Ents & Arts Information

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Steps have refused to play a gig in Dubai as a result of the contract stipulated there must be “no point out of sexuality,” band member Ian “H” Watkins has stated.

Talking on the Perspective Satisfaction Awards 2023, the 47-year-old Welsh singer stated: “Just lately, we now have simply turned down a gig within the Emirates in Dubai, particularly, due to their human rights insurance policies and particularly their legal guidelines on LGBTQ+ individuals.

“We acquired provided a really beautiful sum of cash, however, within the contract, it did say no point out of sexuality and for me, as a homosexual man, I did say ‘that does not sit properly with me. I am not going to be a part of that’.”

Ian “H” Watkins

Identical intercourse relationships are unlawful within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai is likely one of the seven emirates which make up the UAE.

The five-piece group – made up of Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Watkins – beforehand carried out within the UAE in 2018, however Watkins stated the nation’s legal guidelines have modified since then and at the moment are much more “archaic”.

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He defined: “We did a gig in Dubai years in the past, however the legal guidelines have modified loads since then.

“Really, the entire world has progressed, however the legal guidelines within the Emirates and Dubai are much more archaic now.

“I believe, if we took a stand and did our present, because it was, I, particularly can be in peril.

“I might go to jail, we might completely be in contempt of the federal government.

“However we will do our bit and we are going to truly go up and say, ‘no, we’re not doing that’, and that creates much more noise.”

He stated he had instructed his fellow group members they may carry out with out him in the event that they wished, however they refused.

British pop group Steps, circa 1998. Clockwise, from top left, Lee Latchford-Evans, H (Ian Watkins), Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee and Faye Tozer
Steps of their heyday: (L-R) Lee Latchford-Evans, Ian “H” Watkins, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee and Faye Tozer

Steps member Claire Richards, who was additionally on the occasion, known as the choice to show down the gig, a “no brainer”.

She stated: “It is completely what we stand for as a band and all of us help H to the hill, it is not even a query.

“I imply, there’s an argument to say we might have gone. Lots of people say ‘go and fly the flag’ and do it that method however that is giving oxygen to it.”

Final yr, comic Joe Lycett attracted outrage and reward in equal measure after staging a stunt in which he claimed to shred £10,000 in protest of David Beckham’s controversial multimillion-pound World Cup promotion take care of Qatar.

Homosexuality can be unlawful within the Center East nation, which shares a border with the UAE.

Steps – most well-known for his or her hit monitor Tragedy – fashioned in 1997 following a small advert in The Stage leisure paper, looking for a five-piece line-dancing pop group.

They went on to attain a string of high 5 singles, two primary albums and help Britney Spears in throughout her 1999 tour. A comeback album and UK tour in 2017 celebrated their twentieth anniversary, and in 2022 they launched a Platinum Assortment album.

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