David Cameron is going to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this weekend with a personal aim of raising LGBT issues.
The UK prime minister will be armed with a new report highlighting the damage criminalization of LGBT people does to Commonwealth countries.
Homosexuality is criminalized in 40 out of 53 members of the Commonwealth Nations, with the laws dating from the time of British colonial rule.
Cameron personally asked for the report from the Human Dignity Trust and it has been welcomed as excellent by the UK’s Foreign Office. The report describes the criminalization of LGBT people:
- Leads to murder, assault, corrective rape and suicide.
- Increases police corruption, blackmail, torture and abuse by state officials.
- Hold back economic and business development.
- Make young LGBTIs the victim of violence, forced marriage, family rejection and damage their education and health.
- Is a key reason it’s impossible to bring HIV and AIDS under control.
- Violates international human rights laws.
- Make LGBTI people into second-class citizens, even when they are not enforced.
Commonwealth has 53 state members