Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Commonwealth country leaders ‘to be asked to decriminalise gay sex’

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Good. And if they don’t do as instructed, they should be immediately booted out and have any and all financial assistance or other forms of support withdrawn.

    1. Miguel Sanchez 18 Oct 2011, 2:38pm

      You have it spot on mate. Funds should definately be stopped to countries that don’t have total gay equality.

      1. John Antrobus 18 Oct 2011, 8:19pm

        That’d be England out, then.

  2. My fingers are crossed that they see sense and get rid of the archaic law!!!

  3. Great to see this as an agenda item for the Commonwealth leaders meeting.

    Does anyone have an up to date list of email addresses for all Commonwealth leaders and the Commonwealth secretariat?

    1. Hi Stu – why not take action: use this form to email Commonwealth leaders now to make sure they take the lead in promoting legal reform among member states to enable a more effective response to HIV.

      http://www.whatspreventingprevention.org/commonwealth-must-reform-laws-to-stop-hiv/#action

      1. Signed up to it.

        Wondered if anyone had individual emails so that more reinforcement to individual leaders could be given

  4. Immediate expulsion from the Commonwealth and an immediate cessation of all monetary aid, must accompany any refusal to decriminalise homosexuality.

    These pathetic jokes of countries like Uganda; Ghana; Malawi; Zimbabwe clearly bring the whole idea of the Commonwealth into disrepute with their genocidal bigotry.

    1. Absolutely, that would be the manner I would handle these issues.

      However, given that the Commonwealth has no rule which allows it to expel members then suspension would be the only viable option, unless rules were changed.

      We need to stand firm and robustly on issues such as potential genocide and serious and serial human rights abuses.

      1. Well if countries cannot be expelled then the more civilised countries of the Commonwealth – UK; Canada; Australia; New Zealand etc should withdraw from the organisation.

        Associating with horrific regimes in Uganda; Malawi; Zimbabwe; Jamaica; Ghana etc has absolutely no benefit to us.

        And these failed states use their membership of the commonwealth to beg from us.

        1. @dAVID

          Its certainly an option worth discussing and moving ahead on but since that would require support of the monarch, I suspect that is an unlikely route that would be taken.

          If we were to progress down that route, then an interim suspension would be a positive temporary step …

          I do think its outrageous that we support nations such as Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Jamaica, Fiji, Soloman Islands etc despite horrendous records on LGBT rights …

          1. The monarch does what the PM tells her.

            David Cameron and Parliament should instruct her that the UK is leaving the Commonwealth. She may be sad about this but her personal opinion on the matter is irrelevant.

          2. @dAVID

            I very much feel the monarch would feel duty bound to use her prerogative to decide not to support the government as part of her perceived duty to protect the Commonwealth …

  5. Amazing to think that the origin of much of the homphobia originated in the UK under colonial rule with our criminalisation of homosexuality and now we’re telling them to decriminalise it. Good luck with that, I doubt if much will happen. They’d rather financial aid were stopped or booted from the commonwealth than do the right thing.

    1. India; Ireland; Australia; New Zealand; Canada also criminalised homosexuality under colonial rule. All those countries have since decriminalised homosexuaity.

      Africa is entirely responsible for its moronic and genocidal bigotry.

      Using the excuse of colonialism simply allows these murderous, failed, beggar states to blame others for their own inability to run their own countries.

      1. But even some African countries (both Commonwealth and those previously colonized by other European nations) such as South Africa and Mozambique have good legislative records on LGBT rights and a growing awareness of LGBT issues. They are not perfect and have a long way to go, but significantly better than Kenya, Malawi, Uganda etc

        1. Well exactly – that simply proves my point that individual African nations are 100% responsible for their own bigotries and laws.

          It is an oft-quoted and entirely useless idea to start blaming colonialism (or evangelical christianity from the US) for the fact that in much of Africa the government and the population wants to slaughter the LGBT population.

          They need to take responsibility for their own failure to form civilised nations, and they must deal with the consequences of their murderous bigotry.

          1. @dAVID

            I agree that individual countries, African, European or whatever have responsibility for their own legislation and cultures (including any culture of bigotry that may pervade) and resolving problems that arise out of them.

            There are sometimes some historic or current influences which have some impact eg colonialism and/or American or other evangelical organisations. Whilst there is some influence the responsibility for whether that takes effect is a joint one between the individuals who choose to endorse such bigotry or individual governments for failing to find a strategy to contend with the bigotry.

            There are some growing examples of good pressure eg this story:
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15368752

    2. Its not that amazing ! GB was a bastion of homophobia for a good 200 years ! The french abolished the “imaginary” crime of sodomy as tallerand called it in 1793 , Spain followed in 1834 , and Northern “Italy” in 1867 the south followed suit only in 1893 ) . It took until 1967 for Her Majesty’s over priced Island to partially decriminalise gat sex ! Even civilised countries as far away as Honduras (1899) , Guatemala and El Salvador do better and have always done better by their Gay populations than the ghastly UK . One of the reasons for the ingrained homophobia of the British government and its subjects ( citizens only since 1984 ) was the use and abuse of this minority by the very large “security services” and “establishment” . It was a way for the blood sucking classes to preserve their hold on other peoples wealth by blackmail , pressure , policial persecution and to their avowed enemies out right criminal acts and child rape !

      1. Just because England & Wales did not resolve the idiocy of homosexuality being a crime until 1967 (and Scotland much later!) does not mean that we have to wait several hundred more years before we can justifiably seek to persuade other countries to adopt appropriate stances on homosexuality and promote human rights …

        1. Hamster DOS 19 Oct 2011, 3:27pm

          The persuit of Human Rights or to put it more bluntly Justice and common sense do not need any “jusification” . . . So as far as I”m concerned God Willing Great Britain can go ahead ( – please note the use of the jussive ! ! – ) and persue such aims and call a black pot black despite been far from white themselves ! . . . . . I believe their recent ossensible change of heart about gayness is wholely the result of being tied culturally to the EU whose traditions are far more libertarian !

          1. Recent? – homosexuality has been legal in the UK since 1967 and prevalent for ever

        2. LesbianLass 19 Oct 2011, 5:19pm

          Just want to stick up for Scotland here! teehee :L . Lesbian Scottish lass here and even though Scotland decriminalized homosexuality in 1981 (shocking i know, mostly because many Scottish people are religious) Scotland isn’t too bad. I’m an atheist but The Church of Scotland as we have learned recently is further ahead with lgbt issues that many others in the UK. Please correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t Scotland said gay marriage will be legal by 2014 and England 2015? so one year ahead, again sorry if I’m wrong on this. I don’t really think we should dwell on how we treated LGBT people, though never forget. If we have a chance to change how these countries treat LGBT people and maybe save some lives then we should do it.

          1. England has said gay marriage will be legal by 2015. Scotland has only said it will consult on making gay marriage legal – that its minded to do so – but will wait to see the outcome of the consultation.

  6. Stuart Neyton 18 Oct 2011, 1:11pm

    The commonwealth should be disbanded anyhow

    1. Stuart,

      Why should the commonwealth be disbanded?

      1. Does it serve much of a purpose nowadays ? I’m not being sarcastic I know little about it , but isn’t it just a watered down cling on from our empire days?

        1. @Clark

          I kind of agree with you – I am unclear on the benefits of the Commonwealth other than the Commonwealth Games …

  7. Dan Filson 18 Oct 2011, 3:34pm

    It is a shame that the initiative does not, on the face of it, appear to have come from the U.K. but Australia or elsewhere.

  8. This willl probably make some want to leave the common wealth – though im sure the money will keep them in it. Though if that truly gets cut when needed then they might just grow a pair and stop being such spineless bastards, I mean blaming all the wrong things in this world on gays, they need to wake up and realise them and their attitudes are what’s wrong with this world.

    1. I am a lesbian from Trinidad and Tobago and I would love for my country to decriminalize homosexuality and the rest of the Caribbean for that matter which is also part of the Commonwealth. Homophobia and all its accompanying ills- exclusion, discrimination , injustice, violence and the continued descent of gay people into desperate, disempowered and dangerous behaviour is rife here. Unfortunately it also serves as its own self-sustaining cycle. For all people have to do is point to the most terrible and tragic examples of gays and lesbians for proof that we are less than human or we are doing something wrong. This strengthens the arguement that our orientation is indeed criminal. I am afraid we cannot wait on Her Majesty and troup of corrupt sycophants (yes, our political leaders) to see us as human. WE here in our societies have to empower ourselves and lead our own social and sexual revolution to be taken seriously by the world. My partner of 14 years and I are out and proud, even though we risk constant verbal and at times physical abuse. Our backs are broad, our skin is thick. We just need more of us to be brave here and dare to live honestly and not cannibalize their fellow gays but commune with them for a greater cause.

      1. I loved your comment, stay positive and strong!

  9. Another Hannah 18 Oct 2011, 4:45pm

    where is this petition?

  10. Peter Tatchell 18 Oct 2011, 5:30pm

    The petition link is embedded in the article. Please sign – and get your friends to sign too.

    1. In the Caribbean especially, tourism is the lifeblood of the region. The gay community accounts for a significant amount of revenue from travel and tourism. Why not attach special incentives for Commonwealth nations towards investment in their tourism industry on the condition that the countries decriminalize homosexuality and create a gay friendly society that travellers will feel welcome.

      It serves the dual purpose of legislative AND cultural change. As someone living and working here in the Caribbean, they go hand in hand. Our politicians only do what is culturally and economically expedient. Attaching penalities and withdrawing funding comes across as bullying. Attaching rewards comes across as common sense to most people. In the end, people’s pragmatism always wins out over their prejudices.

  11. Gay love is not a crime and it is about time the world stops making it one. Stop all funding of any country that makes gay illegal, that goes for all the Christian and Catholic churches as well.

    1. Gay Daily Mail Reader 18 Oct 2011, 11:24pm

      And Shia and Sunni Muslim countries too. Homosexuality is criminalised in a higher percentage of Islamic countries than Christian countries.

      1. True but largely speaking muslim countries don’t beg for aid from us constantly, so our influence in those countries is significantly less.

        1. In some ways I wish we had more influence but am glad we are not giving aid to regimes such as those in the Middle East etc

    2. Organisations responsible for printing and distribution of trashy hateful anti-gay translations of the Bible, wrongly inserting the mid 19th Century word “homosexual” and deliberately turning it into overt anti-gay propaganda as well as a travesty of scripture, need to be prosecuted, fined and stopped.
      Also pseudo-religious individuals and organisations producing and distributing anti-gay video presentations and bogus gay cures need to be identified and prosecuted, their trashy output banned for incitement to hatred

  12. Gay Daily Mail Reader 18 Oct 2011, 11:22pm

    Like the EU and the Council of Europe, a good human rights record should be required for any Commonwealth country and that should at the very least removing the threat of prosecution from men who have sex in the privacy of their own homes. It is time to ostracise vile countries like Uganda which want to murder people like us.

    1. The Commonwealth is simply a club of nations from the former British empire.

      The empire is over.

      Britain needs to withdraw from the Commonwealth. Simple as that. Associating with murderous dumps like Uganda; Malawi; Ghana; Kenya; Jamaica etc has no benefit whatsoever for us.

      1. I tend to agree that we gain less from the Commonwealth than we give to it and that those areas where we may gain eg exchanges, trade etc etc would be likely to continue with or without the existence of the Commonwealth

        Not sure Britain is undermined in terms of image when linked through the commonwealth with any particular nation – but if we are not significantly benefiting in a manner that would no exist without the Commonwealth, why take the chance of being tarred with the same brush?

        1. The trade value to Britain of those countries which criminalise gay people is negligle.

          We give them undeserved economic aid.

          The commonwealth is simply a drain on our finances and a blow to our image that we are linked to such murderous, bigotted regimes.

          1. Not strictly true.

            Kenya – $US 1.5billion investments and £358m exports (2008)

            Uganda – $US 500m investments and £55m exports (2008)

            Ghana – £500m investments and £259m exports (2009)

            Malawi – £24m exports (2009)

            Nigeria – Investments quoted as several billion by FCO. Exports £1.3bn (2009)

            Investments are private investments in business in those countries eg by British Airways, BP, etc etc

            Clearly several billion in investments and exports are not insignificant to the UK economy

            Now, none of this justifies the homophobia or culture in these countries, but we have to recognise the reality that the UK does have interests in these countries.

  13. paddyswurds 19 Oct 2011, 1:44pm

    Most of the countries that still cling to the criminalisation of Homosexuality are under thrall to the Abrahamic cults and a lot of the African countries in particular are being indoctrinated my evil American xtian and islamic fundies who use money as a catchall to get foothold in, lets face it, countries which have little or no standards of education.
    As the US is dragged kicking and screaming slowly into the 21st century the xtian fundies there are spreading out into countries with little or no education where they can peddle their myths lies and probably paedophilia if their actionsa in western countries are any indication of their behaviour.

    1. So true and so sad especially considering that in many African societies, homosexuality was accepted in pre-Christian, pre-Islamic and pre-Colonial times. To this day, there is nothing condemnatory of homosexuality in Vodun , Orisha, Zulu and other pagan African traditions. I always say the gay rights movement is just as much a spiritual/religious one as it is a social/political one. While I am not one to continue to blame in this 21st Century, the Colonialists who infected the “new world” with their homophobia and exploitative regimes, I also recognize that the factors (industry, wealth, a middle class, increased education and better standard of life) that sparked the Enlightenment in Europe leading to rationality, science, assertion of individuality and human rights, are simply not present in many third world countries. So the path to a more enlightened view on human sexuality is taking FOREVER! And those American Evangelicals aren’t helping either.

  14. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 5:21pm

    It’s time to change.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all