The Commonwealth has been silence on the issues of Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual & Trangendered (LGBT) people's persecutions and discrimination going on in many of its member-countries. Gay people in these countries are being denied access to healthcare, arrested and jailed, sentenced to death, exposed to public and state homophobia and denied state protection.
In the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2009) held in Trinadad and Tobago on November 27-29 2009, it was disappointing and appalling that the Commonwealth turned blind eyes to the Ugandan Anti-Homosexual Bill proposing death penalty to gay people and did not issue a statement nor discuss it even when that bill was top of the agenda for HUman Rights through out the world at that time.
Also, on the case of 2 young men arrested and detained in Malawi, charged on accusation of homosexuality since December 29 2009, the Commonwealth has kept mute and made no official statement. This means that some citizens of the Commonwealth can be denied their right just because they are gay or lesbians.
This continued silence of the Commonwealth therefore sends the wrong message to these countries and the general public that the Commonwealth supports these injustice and discrimination.
Of the 53 Commonwealth member-countries, 40 still criminalise same-sex relations, mostly under anti-gay laws that were originally imposed by the British colonial government in the nineteenth century. This is disgraceful to the Commonwealth when its core principles includes equality, non-discrimination, opportunity for all, liberty of the individual and human dignity.
If the Commonwealth continue in this silence, it is not only living short of its own principles, but it is assuring these countries that they can also ignore these pillars of justice.
Please sign this petition with us.
We urge the Commonwealth to declare that LGBTI rights are human rights and to support the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality and an end to legal restrictions on the work of LGBTI human rights activists and HIV educators.
We appeal to the Commonwealth to press all its members states to enact laws to protect LGBTI people against discrimination, harassment and violence, and to ensure equal access to health, education and housing, in accordance with the Commonwealth principles of human dignity, inclusion and liberty.