Homosexuality remains illegal in 37 countries of the 53 Commonwealth countries.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

29 Mar 2018 - 1:51 PM  UPDATED 29 Mar 2018 - 1:51 PM

A petition with over 100,000 signatures is calling for homosexuality to be decriminalised in all Commonwealth countries. Homosexuality remains illegal in 37 countries of the 53 Commonwealth countries. 

After 13 years, this Nigerian LGBT+ activist has been granted asylum in the UK
“I implore you all to stand with me and them to change the LGBTI asylum application system that seeks to persecute, dehumanise and demean people each step of the process for whom they are.”

The petition, which will be delivered to the Commonwealth secretariat in London on April 11th, demands that Commonwealth countries decriminalise gay sex, ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, protect LGBTIQ+ people from hate crimes, and consult with national LGBTIQ+ organisations.

"Most of these countries inherited their anti-gay laws from Britain during the period of colonial rule; making these laws a hang-over from the colonial era," the petition reads.

"At least nine of these 37 countries have a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for same-sex acts and there is the death penalty in parts of northern Nigeria and rural Pakistan."

The petition was launched by Edwin Sesange from the African Equality Foundation and was timed to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

New bills introduced in Pakistan to recognise transgender rights
The proposed laws would make it illegal to discriminate against the transgender community.

"The demand for equality is no longer an issue for the minority but for the majority," Sesange said.

He continued: "I therefore thank all those who have managed to bring this issue to light. These signatures represent a need  which can no longer be ignored by the leadership of the Commonwealth."

"I appeal to the leaders and other stakeholders to represent the views and voices of the innocent, oppressed, discriminated and persecuted LGBTI people."

You can sign the petition here.