Rally for LGBT Targets Commonwealth Games urging Britain to speak out against Homophobia

Posted by Melanie Nathan, July 14, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 9.24.17 AMWhen it was the colonial power in the nineteenth century, Britain imposed most of the existing anti-gay laws on its Colonies.  Homosexuality was not illegal in these countries prior to British colonization.

A rally will take place this week, against anti-LGBT persecution in the Commonwealth, with activists urging David Cameron to speak out out against Commonwealth homophobia, urging enforcement of Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games constitution.

The Protest at 10 Downing Street – see details below urges:

1. David Cameron to speak out against Commonwealth homophobia and transphobia before and during the Commonwealth Games – and to declare his support for non-discrimination, in accordance with Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games;

2. Glasgow 2014 organizers to make a statement of equality and inclusivity – including a specific welcome and support for LGBTI athletes, officials and spectators;

3. LGBTI athletes to come out – if it is safe for them to do so; and

4. The UK to grant asylum to LGBTI athletes and officials who have a well-founded fear of persecution if they return to their home countries;

42 of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth criminalize homosexuality, with penalties up to life imprisonment in at least seven member states – plus the death penalty in parts of northern Nigeria and rural Pakistan, and a plan to introduce death by stoning in Brunei.

Edwin Sesange, coordinator of the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, said:

“The Commonwealth Games is a major international sporting event and a great opportunity for the Prime Minister speak out against anti-LGBTI persecution by 80% of Commonwealth member states. We want him to press the Glasgow 2014 organisers to make equality a key theme of the games. This would be a unique, pioneering achievement; setting a high standard for future games organisers to follow.

The UK government prides itself on the progress it has made with gay rights. David Cameron vowed to help defend LGBTI rights around the world. His promises have not, however, been backed with sufficient action. This is his chance to make amends.

Far from moving towards equality, we have seen many Commonwealth countries witch-hunt their LGBTI citizens and introduce even tougher anti-gay laws in countries like Uganda, Brunei and Nigeria.

Britain has been part of the problem. Therefore it should be part of the solution by challenging homophobia and transphobia in the Commonwealth. David Cameron should show leadership by taking a stand against the victimisation of LGBTI people,” said Mr Sesange.

Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights advocacy ngo, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, added:

“We are appealing to Prime Minister David Cameron to speak out against homophobia and transphobia in the Commonwealth in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, which start in Glasgow on 23 July. We also want him to express his public support for Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games Federation constitution, which prohibits any form of discrimination – including discrimination in athlete selection for national teams.

Given the extreme homophobia and transphobia in most Commonwealth countries, it is very unlikely that most national selection committees would allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or inter-sex (LGBTI) athlete to compete at Glasgow. David Cameron can help by making clear that such discrimination is incompatible with Commonwealth Games values and regulations.

We want the Prime Minister to give a lead and set a positive tone by publicly declaring that anti-LGBT persecution is a violation of the Commonwealth Charter and that LGBTI athletes will be welcome in Glasgow. We are asking him to state his support for Article 7 and to make it clear that no country should be permitted to discriminate with regard to who they select for the up-coming games,” said Mr Tatchell

Rally for LGBT rights in the Commonwealth. Organised by the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, with the support of the Peter Tatchell Foundation and Rainbows Across Borders.

Date: Wednesday 16 July 2014

Time: 18:00-19:30

Venue: 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA

All invited

Grammy Award winning global superstar Rod Stewart is to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. http://www.glasgow2014.com/press-releases/global-talent-appear-glasgow-2014-opening-ceremony


2 thoughts on “Rally for LGBT Targets Commonwealth Games urging Britain to speak out against Homophobia

  1. We want the Prime Minister to give a lead and set a positive tone by publicly declaring that anti-LGBT persecution is a violation of the Commonwealth Charter.

    The PM will make no such declaration because Article 7 has a bit of wiggle room which seems not to prohibit all discrimination. A7 states in full:

    For the Commonwealth Games and generally in respect of all activities of the Federation and events under its control, there shall be no discrimination against any country or person on any grounds whatsoever, including race, colour, gender, religion or politics.

    The wiggle room comes from use of the word “generally” and that LGBTs are not specifically mentioned as a group which must not be discriminated against. I am not saying that this is a good thing, but just quoting what A7 actually says.

    The problem which I have with Peter Tatchell is that he makes persuasive statements, but when you examine them closely you find that he is misquoting something, or “feels sure” about something else, or is cherry-picking his “facts”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s