April 30th, 2013

Me with Red Ribbon

Commonwealth should act on LGBT rights

Photo courtesy Peter Tatchell Foundation

Extract cut and pasted from Gay Star News:

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and his fellow campaigners met with Commonwealth officials last Tuesday (Tues 23 April) to press for more action on LGBT rights.

The Commonwealth, whose titular head is Queen Elizabeth, has 54 member states but 43 of them criminalize homosexuality – that’s a majority of the 79 countries worldwide where it is illegal to have gay sex.

Those at the meeting discussed how the Commonwealth can best advance lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights – and work with other organisations to achieve this.

Tatchell said:

‘While some progress is being made, it is painfully slow. More reform is needed urgently.

The recently intensified state-sanctioned homophobic repression in Zambia, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria and The Gambia is a worrying trend.’

Tatchell believes the best chance of success is for countries to use the non-discrimination clauses of their own constitutions and human rights conventions they have already signed to inspire change.

‘That’s why it is so import to empower and support indigenous LGBTI and human rights defenders,’ he said.

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma has repeatedly said homophobic persecution is inconsistent with Commonwealth values and international law.

Read more about the meeting here:
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/call-rights-43-gay-sex-crime-countries250413 (this is the full article)