Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, held an event during the week, which aimed to tackle the stigma faced by LGBTQ people in Commonwealth countries.
Following the event, the pair sent a personal letter to LGBTQ activists in those countries, praising them for their efforts to improve LGBTQ rights.
During the event that Sir Elton hosted, he urged all of the attendees to promote “cross-boundary dialogue to develop greater understanding, compassion and tolerance of an individual’s sexuality.”
The event brought together various lawmakers, NGOs and student leaders. Notable attendees included the openly gay Conservative MP, Crispin Blunt and the openly gay Liberal Democrat peer, Baroness Elizabeth Barker.
At the event, Furnish, who is also the chair of the Elton John AIDS Foundation said: “Growing up in Canada, being part of the Commonwealth was a source of great pride.
“As an institution it has incredible potential to reset the balance in terms of human rights and human dignity. It would also have a huge impact on the HIV epidemic in the Commonwealth.”
Sir Stephen Wall, the chairman of Kaleidoscope Trust said: “This conference allowed the voices of young people from different countries and backgrounds to be heard and to send a message that the baton is passing to a new generation with a different and more inclusive view of the world.”
The vast majority of Commonwealth citizens live in areas which criminalise LGBTQ people. One such country is Kenya, however, the country is currently reviewing its laws around unnatural sex, and may decriminalise homosexuality. The ruling is being regarded as a potential landmark ruling because of Kenya’s influence in Eastern Africa, should Kenya decriminalise homosexuality, then other African nations may follow suit.