Of the 53 independent member countries of the Commonwealth, 42 criminalise some or all consensual adult same-sex sexual relationships. In much of the Commonwealth, LGBTI people are denied equal access to health services, employment, education, housing and human rights. With the hosting of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July 2014, the eyes of 2 billion people across the Commonwealth were on Scotland. The Equality Network and our partners have worked to highlight and challenge the issues facing LGBTI people of the Commonwealth.
What you can do
Please sign our petition calling for action from Commonwealth member states and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
In partnership with the Kaleidoscope Trust, Glasgow Human Rights Network and Pride Glasgow, we hosted an international conference, LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth, in Glasgow on Friday 18th July. 160 people took part, including LGBTI activist speakers from every region of the Commonwealth.
You can read a short report on the conference here.
The conference agreed a statement and Call to Action to Commonwealth members and institutions.
Information on LGBTI human rights in the Commonwealth
With the help of colleagues around the Commonwealth, the Equality Network has produced an exhibition, LGBTI People of the Commonwealth. This highlights the challenges facing LGBTI people in each of the 53 Commonwealth member countries, and the work of LGBTI organisations in those countries. The exhibition is currently on tour around Scotland, starting at Pride House in Glasgow.
We are also producing a book of the exhibition, which will be available online here shortly.
Our colleagues at the Kaleidoscope Trust have produced a report, Speaking Out: the rights of LGBTI citizens from across the Commonwealth.
For a more in depth study of the issues, we recommend Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in The Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change, edited by Corinne Lennox and Matthew Waites.
This is the first book to focus on experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) and all non-heterosexual people in the Commonwealth. The volume offers the most internationally extensive analysis to date of the global struggle for decriminalisation of same-sex sexual behaviour and relationships. The book is available free online to read and/or download here.