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The Commonwealth and LGBTI human rights

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is one of the largest events ever to be held in Scotland. Athletes from the 53 nations and 18 territories of the Commonwealth will compete in 17 different sports and the event will be broadcasted to a global audience of 1.5 billion. The eyes of the world will be on Scotland.

Much of the Commonwealth however is not a good place to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. Of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth, 42 criminalise their LGB citizens, and trans and intersex rights also vary dramatically. Around the globe LGBTI people are denied basic human rights, equal access to education, employment, housing and healthcare. Some LGBTI people are denied their liberty and in the most extreme cases their lives.

That’s why, in advance of, during and after the Games in Glasgow the Equality Network, working in partnership with a large number of organisations both in Scotland and around the Commonwealth, is planning a series of activities and events to highlight human rights issues, and more importantly to hear from our LGBTI colleagues from across the Commonwealth. Throughout our work we will listen to the voices of LGBTI people from around the Commonwealth, highlighting the issues important to them and supporting their priorities.

Conference

Human Rights in the Commonwealth LogoLGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth is an international conference which we are holding on Friday 18th July at Glasgow University in partnership with Pride Glasgow, the Kaleidoscope Trust and the Glasgow Human Rights Network. We have already secured a number of important speakers from LGBTI communities across the Commonwealth for this free one day event. You can see more information, and register for a place at the conference here.

Exhibition

LGBTI People of the CommonwealthLGBTI People of the Commonwealth is an exhibition we are organising which will celebrate and recognise the contribution of LGBTI groups and organisations from the 53 countries that make up the Commonwealth, and ensure the visibility of LGBTI people and their lives during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and beyond.  This will be one way to highlight the issues faced by LGBTI people in different countries and we have made contact with a large number of LGBTI groups and individuals around the Commonwealth to provide content. The project is funded by a Celebrate/Big Lottery grant and will be displayed at Pride House Glasgow during the Games, before visiting other parts of Scotland.

Take action!

Please join us for our very visible presence on the Pride Glasgow March on 19th July, both to welcome LGBTI visitors to the Games, and to call for LGBTI human rights to be respected across the Commonwealth. Our petition, calling for actions on LGBTI human rights from Commonwealth member states and the Commonwealth Secretariat, will be available to sign at Pride, online and at Pride House throughout the Games.

Around the time of the closing ceremony of the Games we are also organising a public event for supporters of LGBTI human rights to demonstrate their support for LGBTI people facing human rights abuses in the Commonwealth.

Keep checking this page as we will update it with more information on a range of events and activities taking place across Scotland. You can also keep up to date by checking our twitter or Facebook social media channels.

As the Games come to Glasgow we will work hard to ensure the voices of LGBTI people from across the Commonwealth are highlighted and human rights abuses challenged.

Sport

The Games in Glasgow isn’t only an opportunity to support LGBTI people across the Commonwealth but also a chance to tackle LGBTI discrimination in sport and get more LGBTI people involved in sport. That’s why we’re supporting Pride House Glasgow. As well as the exhibition, we will be hosting a number of events at Pride House and will publish more information on those soon. If you have an interest in sport, or would like to get involved, we strongly encourage you to visit Pride House during the Games.