Petition Urging Commonwealth Countries To Scrap Anti-Gay Laws Gets 100,000 Signatures


Commonwealth Decriminalisation Petition March

More than 103,000 people have signed a petition calling on dozens of Commonwealth countries to repeal longstanding anti-gay laws.

Homosexuality remains illegal in 37 of the 53 Commonwealth countries, with those countries continuing to enforce penal codes first introduced under the British Empire but never repealed.

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Punishments for LGBTIQ people among the countries include 10 years imprisonment and hard labour in Jamaica, 14 years in Kenya, flogging and 20 years imprisonment in Malaysia, and 25 years imprisonment in Trinidad and Tobago.

Homosexuality is punishable by death in member states Brunei, rural areas of Pakistan and the northern part of Nigeria.

The petition calls for all Commonwealth countries to decriminalise gay sex, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, protect LGBTIQ people from hate crimes and to engage in dialogue with national LGBTIQ organisations.

Petitioner Edwin Sesange, from the African Equality Foundation, said: “The demand for equality is no longer an issue for the minority but for the majority.

“These signatures represent a need which can no longer be ignored by the leadership of the Commonwealth.

“I appeal to the leaders and other stakeholders to represent the views and voices of the innocent, oppressed, discriminated and persecuted LGBTI people.”

The petition will be delivered to the Commonwealth secretariat in London on April 11 ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this month.

The petition can be signed here.

 

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