MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Australia should consider withdrawing from the Commonwealth as the latter proves unable to decriminalize homosexuality, LGBT rights activist Paula Gerber said.
“As the Commonwealth Games start in Glasgow we need to ask some tough questions: Should Australia continue to be a member of an international body where the majority of countries can jail, if not kill, gays?” she was quoted as saying by newspaper Pink News.
“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,” she said.
Gerber was also skeptical about the power of Commonwealth to influence its member nations to repeal their laws criminalizing homosexuality.
“It has a majority of states that support treating LGBT people as criminals and a weak Charter when it comes to human rights. This combination of factors makes it highly unlikely that the Commonwealth will play a significant role in the decriminalization of homosexuality among its members,” the activist concluded.
At the moment 42 of 53 Commonwealth nations criminalize homosexuality in some forms. Being gay can lead to a prison sentence in 11 countries of the Commonwealth.
Same-sex marriage is legal in England, Wales, Canada and New Zealand.