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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak out in support of LGBT rights

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Ms Markle told delegates at the Commonwealth Youth Forum reception that the issue was one of ‘basic human rights’.

Ms Markle joined Prince Harry at the Commonwealth Youth Forum (Yui Mok/PA)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out in support of LGBT issues, with the American star saying it was about “basic human rights”.

The couple attended a Commonwealth Youth Forum reception in London as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting week.

Chatting to young people involved in the Commonwealth Equality Network, Ms Markle stressed the importance of its work challenging inequality based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Jacob Thomas, from Melbourne, Australia, who works with the Network, revealed: “She really laid down the key point that it’s basic human rights.

“It’s not just about love and sexuality. It’s also about being here, supporting and recognising us for the benefit of all.”

The couple praised the work of the network – the first accredited one on LGBT rights.

Jacob added: “Harry recognised that five years ago, 10 years ago, this would not have happened.”

Jacob won a Queen’s Young Leaders Award for reducing the rate of suicide in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community in Australia.

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Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that Britain has “a special responsibility to help change hearts and minds” on gay rights in the Commonwealth.

Thirty-six of the 53 Commonwealth member states criminalise same-sex activity.

The PM voiced her deep regret at anti-gay laws in many Commonwealth nations, which were put in place under British rule, adding that the UK stood ready to help modernise outdated legislation.

Her comments came after Tory backbencher Nigel Evans said too many Commonwealth countries still had discriminatory legislation on their statute books.

Working with the Commonwealth’s young people will be a key focus for Harry and Ms Markle in their royal life together, with Harry being appointed a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador by the Queen.

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