Should Australia Leave the Commonwealth for LGBTI Rights?


Kaleidoscope Australia, a not for profit organisation that advocates for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Asia Pacific region has condemned the Commonwealth of Nations for failing to address the rights of its LGBTI citizens.

In the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the organisation also posed the question as to whether Australia and like-minded nations should leave the international body.

Kaleidoscope Australia’s President Dr. Paula Gerber noted in her article ‘Living a Life of Crime: The Ongoing Criminalisation of Homosexuality Within the Commonwealth’ that 42 of the 53 Commonwealth countries, homosexuality remains criminalized. Kaleidoscope Australia stated that four our of every five countries competing in the Commonwealth Games criminalize consensual homosexual sex between adults, including 100% of Commonwealth nations in Asia and 64% in the Pacific.

Dr. Gerber made the following comments regarding the issue:

“The Commonwealth should be a forum for advancing human rights across all its member states but unfortunately for LGBTI citizens this is not the case. As the Commonwealth Games start in Glasgow we need to ask some tough questions: should Australia should continue to be a member of an international body where the majority of countries can jail, if not kill, gays?”

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