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This petition has been created by Geoff A. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary General, and all Commonwealth leaders
Implement change at the June 2022 CHOGM meeting in Rwanda to ensure that Commonwealth nations repeal all homophobic laws and release all LGBT+ political prisoners.
In memory of my LGBT+ refugee friend, Trinidad Jerry, who was murdered in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, in 2021.
Homosexual and related LGBT+ activity remains a criminal offence in 35 of the 54 nations within the Commonwealth. Punishments range from flogging and imprisonment with hard labour, to life imprisonment or death. Related social discrimination leads to violence, hate crimes, increased rates of HIV/AIDS and other health problems, and murder.
My own activist work with LGBT+ refugees in Africa highlights the problem: rejection by family and communities, fleeing for fear of their lives, arriving in new homes where they still face discrimination, violence and death threats. Conservative religious and political voices justify the homophobia and transphobia that these people face daily.
This Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Rwanda during June 2022 is an opportunity for Commonwealth nations to collectively uphold their principles of equality and anti-discrimination. This meeting must address homophobic laws and demand that Commonwealth nations repeal these laws. This CHOGM must produce positive results if the Commonwealth wishes to be seen as a relevant global agency in the 21st century, instead of an entity that is still clinging to outdated colonial-era laws.
It is time for all Commonwealth nations to decriminalise LGBT+ rights and protect their LGBT+ citizens. Abolishing homophobic laws will not immediately end the injustice and discrimination in Commonwealth nations, but it will be the start of a wider education campaign to make all Commonwealth citizens aware that immutable characteristics such as being LGBT+ deserve equal protection as other immutable characteristics such as race.
(Please consider carefully how to sign this petition safely if you live in a nation where homophobic laws may apply.)