Kaleidoscope Calls on PM to Address LGBT Rights at CHOGM

Liberal Leader Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Australia’s recently formed non-profit human rights group Kaleidoscope has called on the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to raise the issue of LGBTI rights at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM).

Dear Prime Minister,
Re: Criminalisation of Homosexuality in Commonwealth Nations

We are aware that you are preparing to go to the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka this month.

We are gravely concerned with the fact that almost 80% of the attending heads of state preside over nations that criminalise people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That shocking statistic is in stark contrast to the world as a whole, where only 40% of nations have such laws.

I am sure you will agree that LGBTI people are deserving of respect and security and should not be regarded as second class citizens. In fact, in 1994, the Australian Federal Government played a historic role in establishing that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights protects the fundamental rights of LGBTI people in the case of Toonen v Australia. It is with this in mind that the Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation, urges you to take the lead at CHOGM to ensure that the plight of persecuted LGBTI people across the Commonwealth of Nations is not ignored.

Specifically, we ask that you:
1. take a public stand at CHOGM 2013 to call for the rights of LGBTI citizens to be included as an important agenda item for the next
meeting in 2015;
2. request all Commonwealth nations place an immediate moratorium on the enforcement of existing laws criminalising homosexuality; and
3. make clear that human rights are indivisible and must be extended to each and every citizen and that the new Commonwealth Charter’s Assertion, which states ‘We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds,’ is explicitly acknowledged as including LGBTI people.

We thank you for your time, consideration and efforts to protect and promote the rights of LGBTI people across the Commonwealth.

Yours sincerely,
Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation (an Australian NGO focussed on
the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex
(LGBTI) people).

The Board of Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation


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