Dear Prime Minister,
Re: Criminalisation of Homosexuality in Commonwealth Nations
We are aware that you are preparing to go to the upcoming Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka this month.
We are gravely concerned with the fact that almost 80% of the
attending heads of state preside over nations that criminalise people
because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That shocking
statistic is in stark contrast to the world as a whole, where only 40%
of nations have such laws.
I am sure you will agree that LGBTI people are deserving of respect
and security and should not be regarded as second class citizens. In
fact, in 1994, the Australian Federal Government played a historic
role in establishing that the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights protects the fundamental rights of LGBTI people in
the case of Toonen v Australia. It is with this in mind that the
Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation, urges you to take the lead at
CHOGM to ensure that the plight of persecuted LGBTI people across the
Commonwealth of Nations is not ignored.
Specifically, we ask that you:
1. take a public stand at CHOGM 2013 to call for the rights of LGBTI
citizens to be included as an important agenda item for the next
meeting in 2015;
2. request all Commonwealth nations place an immediate moratorium on
the enforcement of existing laws criminalising homosexuality; and
3. make clear that human rights are indivisible and must be extended
to each and every citizen and that the new Commonwealth Charter’s
Assertion, which states ‘We are implacably opposed to all forms of
discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed,
political belief or other grounds,’ is explicitly acknowledged as
including LGBTI people.
We thank you for your time, consideration and efforts to protect and
promote the rights of LGBTI people across the Commonwealth.
Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation (an Australian NGO focussed on
the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex