An Australian LGBT group has called for the country to withdraw from the Commonwealth, over its “total failure” to address anti-gay laws.

As the Commonwealth Games launch in Glasgow today, 42 of the 53 Commonwealth Nations still criminalise homosexuality, while 11 of the countries where being gay can result in a prison sentence have the Queen as the Head of State.

Paula Gerber, President of Kaleidoscope Australia, called for the country to withdraw from the Commonwealth in a paper released this week.

She said: “The Commonwealth should be a forum for advancing human rights across all its member states but unfortunately for LGBTI citizens this is not the case.

“As the Commonwealth Games start in Glasgow we need to ask some tough questions: should Australia should continue to be a member of an international body where the majority of countries can jail, if not kill, gays?”

In the paper, she wrote: “The Commonwealth is unlikely to be able to influence its member nations to repeal their laws criminalising homosexuality.

“It has a majority of states that support treating LGBTI people as criminals and a weak Charter when it comes to human rights.

“This combination of factors makes it highly unlikely that the Commonwealth will play a significant role in the decriminalisation of homosexuality among its members.”

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