Commonwealth: Time for a Change

Published: October 28, 2011

Right now, almost 80 countries around the world make it a crime to be gay, lesbian, bi or transgender. In 10 of those nations, you can be sentenced to death or life behind bars. The majority of these nations share a connection – they are members of the Commonwealth – an organization bringing together 54 nations to collaborate on politics, culture and economic development.

The Commonwealth leaders are gathering this week in Perth, Australia where Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, just gave a courageous speech calling on each of the Commonwealth nations to finally end discrimination and criminalization of LGBT people. It’s historic, but hardly a done deal: Forces within the Commonwealth are working double-time to silence Sharma and others, giving nations that send gays and lesbians to jail a free pass for yet another year.

We need to support Secretary General Sharma and show the other heads of state that a massive global outcry is bubbling up in their own countries and demanding fairness.

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