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Commonwealth LGBTI groups call for action over anti-gay laws

The Kaleidoscope Trust, along with a coalition of 31 LGBTI organisations from across the Commonwealth, has called on Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma to take a stronger line on member states that violate the rights of LGBTI people. Following the passage of repressive laws in Nigeria and Uganda, the newly formed Commonwealth LGBTI Association has written to the Commonwealth to condemn the laws as being counter to the Commonwealth Charter, in violation of both country's constitutions and a serious violation of human rights.


In the past months, both Nigeria and Uganda have passed new legislation that have acted to further imperil the rights of their LGBTI citizens. A statement by the Secretary General in repsonse to the new laws has been welcomed by the Association, however they have drawn attention to how limited it is in scope. 


The Commonwealth continues to underperform in the protection of LGBTI rights: 42 of the 53 member states continue to criminalise homosexuality. 


In the letter the Association states: 


These new laws are a contradiction of the recently reaffirmed Commonwealth Charter. There is no place for discriminatory and prejudicial laws in a modern Commonwealth based on equality and equity. We therefore call for concrete action from the Secretary-General and Commonwealth Secretariat to support LGBTI individuals living in Uganda and Nigeria. 


Read the full letter.