United Kingdom: LGBT activists are urging British Prime Minister David Cameron to speak out against homophobia and insist on enforcing the non discriminatory aspects of the Commonwealth Games constitution.
They want Cameron to speak out against homophobia and transphobia before and during the Commonwealth Games – and to declare his support for non-discrimination, in accordance with Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games
They also want organizers to make a statement of equality – including a specific welcome and support for LGBTI athletes, officials and spectators so that the games can be a safe opportunity for LGBTI athletes to come out.
They also want the UK to grant asylum to LGBTI athletes and officials who have a well-founded fear of persecution if they return to their home countries.
The Commonwealth Games will be held in the United Kingdom’s city of Glasgow, begin July 23 and close August 3. About 6.500 athletes from 70 countries will be competing in 17 sports.
Same-sex relations is illegal in 42 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries, with penalties up to life imprisonment in at least seven member states – plus the death penalty in parts of northern Nigeria and rural Pakistan, and a plan to introduce death by stoning in Brunei.
“We are appealing to Prime Minister David Cameron to speak out against homophobia and transphobia in the Commonwealth in the run-up to the Commonwealth Game,” Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell, director of a human rights advocacy NGO.
“Given the extreme homophobia and transphobia in most Commonwealth countries … Cameron can help by making clear that such discrimination is incompatible with Commonwealth Games values and regulations,” he told media.
“We are asking him to state his support for Article 7 and to make it clear that no country should be permitted to discriminate with regard to who they select for the up-coming games,” Tatchell said.
The Commonwealth Games are viewed as the third largest multi-sport event in the world, after the Olympic Games and the Asian Games.
The Commonwealth of Nations include former British Empire colonies, British overseas territories and Crown dependencies.
When it was a colonial power in the 19th Century, Britain imposed most of the existing anti-gay laws on its colonies where same-sex relations were not illegal prior to British colonization. The majority of former colonies in West Asia, South and Southeast Asia have retained the British colonial-era law even after independence.