Belfast Telegraph

George Takei: 'The struggle continues'

George Takei has shared his thoughts on modern civil rights issues.

Actor and activist George Takei believes there is still so much work to be done in the fight for equal rights.

The openly homosexual 78-year-old, who is best known for his role as helmsman Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series, has been an outspoken proponent of civil liberties for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for years.

Although gay marriage was legalised nationwide by the Supreme Court of the United States in June, 2015, many states in the country, like North Carolina, are introducing laws onto the books which make it legal to discriminate against members of the LGBT community.

And while speaking to thousands of fans at the Salt Lake Comic Con’s FanXperience event on Friday (25Mar16), The Spectrum reports George made it clear he is absolutely disgusted by prejudiced laws.

“They passed that in the dark of the night, secretly, with no public input,” George said of North Carolina's new legislation, which gives local governments the right to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation. “It’s those sneaky, devious approaches that they have to use now to try to get around the Supreme Court ruling. We have our struggles still ahead of us.”

In addition to his work with the LGBT community, George, a Japanese-American, has lent support to a number of anti-racist causes over the years in a bid to promote tolerance and awareness. He currently serves on the board of trustees for the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in addition to involving himself with countless other human rights campaigns and organisations. And while speaking about modern race relations, George pointed out minorities in America are struggling to achieve equality long after the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement concluded.

“It was 51 years ago, in 1965, that President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Bill,” he noted. “And still, more than 51 years later, today, African Americans, Latino Americans still have barriers put up to them when they vote. The struggle continues.”

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