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Protest: Is the Commonwealth colluding with gay persecution?

Commonwealth leaders "ignore homophobia" at Sri Lanka summit

In 2013, 80% of Commonwealth countries continue to criminalise LGBTI communities, according to a recent Kaleidoscopic Trust report.

With their next summit scheduled this week in Sri Lanka, several organisations are fed-up of sexual politics and issues of gender inequality being constantly ignored by world governments. This Wednesday in London, three organisations urge you to join them at the Commonwealth HQ, in order to protest against the international silence that surrounds homophobic persecution in more than 40 Commonwealth nations. Six of these Commonwealth countries stipulate life imprisonment: Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana.

Sponsored by the Peter Tatchell Foundation, the Kaleidoscopic Trust and the African LGBTI Out & Proud Diamond group, each organisation hopes to provoke discussions at this week's meeting between the Commonwealth leaders, as well as raising awareness to the British public regarding the criminalisation of homosexuality around the world.

Ironically, the repression that exists in certain parts of the world significantly contradict the ideology behind the Commonwealth Charter that aims to respect universal human rights, including the rights of LGBTI citizens.

Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, states that: "Their members should honour the principles of the Commonwealth Charter, which means decriminalisation of homosexuality, laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, enforcement of legislation against threats and violence, to protect LGBTI people from hate crimes and to introduce government consultation with LGBTI organisations."

To demand action - not silence - from the Commonwealth, join these organisations between 12noon to 2pm, this Wednesday 13 November at Commonwealth HQ, Marlborough House, Corner of St James’s Street, London SW1Y 5HX. 
Nearest Tubes: Green Park and Piccadilly Circus.

Words: Calum Cochrane (@CochraneCalum)

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