Saturday, 16 November 2013

Commonwealth Cost to LGBT Rights

The meeting of Commonwealth leaders this week has shed stark light on the fact that 80% of member states criminalise homosexuality. Not to mention, yet again, that they promoted one of Uganda's leading anti-gay campaigners, Rebecca Kedaga, to Chair of Women Parliamentarians Committee earlier in the year.

This has led to assertions that:

Commonwealth leaders from around the world meet in Sri Lanka on Friday. Yet again they plan to ignore the criminalisation of lesbian and gay people in 80% of Commonwealth member states. They are refusing to even discuss the current homophobic persecution in Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria.

Gay campaigners and allies from many countries rallied outside the Commonwealth's London HQ on Wednesday, accusing the Commonwealth of "collusion with homophobia."

The theme of the protest was: "Commonwealth must speak out and act against the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people."

Coinciding with the protest, the Kaleidoscope Trust released a damning new report on the victimisation of LGBT people in Commonwealth countries.

Proving once again that by common wealth, we're very much talking about common financial profit rather than common human rights.

What do people matter when you could be making money?

The Sri Lankan LGBT community know the answer to that one:

The LGBTI campaigners say they have been forced underground, reflecting a wider crackdown on civil society ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)...

GSN has learned Sri Lankan activists have been warned to stop their activities ahead of CHOGM.

Some individuals have been threatened and told they may be in danger if they do not comply.

As a result, they have been forced to shelve the idea of holding an event alongside the summit, highlighting LGBTI rights concerns in Commonwealth nations.

This is not the first time we've highlighted the failure of the Commonwealth to address LGBT rights, and we're sure it won't be the last.

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