Wednesday, 18 April 2018

British PM applauded for condemning British colonial anti-gay laws in Commonwealth (video)

I actually signed an international petition the other day wanting the British gov to do just this. It was because the Commonwealth Games were being held on the Gold Coast in Queensland and such condemnation would be perfectly timed around the games.

And what do you know? Just about fell off my chair when I saw this, and coming from the conservative gov in power over there. 
Theresa May has strongly condemned the British colonial laws against gays that were exported from the British to all Commonwealth nations. Today out of the 53 countries still part of the Commonwealth, in 37 of them it's illegal to be gay. Not because the people there decided to make that so, but because British law was imposed on them as colonials.

Many of those countries are viciously anti-gay because of this. For example, our immigrant neighbours (now Aussie citizens) came from Bangladesh. These are the one's who their 4yr old daughter said to David's face "you're not good people". So I looked up Bangladesh and was pretty surprised. The country is deeply anti-gay:

Last month, unknown assailants hacked two gay activists to death in an apartment in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka. One of the victims, Xulhaz Mannan, edited the first magazine for the country's gay and lesbian community; the other, Mahbub Tonoy, was a gay rights activist. While an Islamist group claimed responsibility for the killings, Bangladesh's interior minister laid the blame on the victims themselves - homosexuality is a criminal offense in the country.


What is the attitude towards the LGBT community in your country? I used to live in the eastern city of Comilla, where a very conservative attitude towards the LGBT community prevails. Some friends and I formed a cultural group for homosexuals there in 2008, which some members and supporters of the LGBT community from nearby cities joined. We used to meet once a week in a secret place. When we first organized a "rainbow rally" in the city in 2009, not many people paid any interest. Still, supporters of the ruling party and its leader attacked the rally and injured some of my fellow activists.

 Afterwards, locals flagged me as a gay activist. A group of Islamists attacked me and tried to cut my fingers to stop me from writing about religious fundamentalism and gay rights. I was abducted in 2010 and raped by my captors. Police rescued me after a few days but didn't file any case. Rather, they suggested that I leave my country. My college stripped me of my right to study there, citing my activism. So my maternal grandmother sent me to Malaysia so I could continue studying. DW
The question is, how much of this is because of British colonial law that outlawed same sex couples? Our neighbours got asylum here citing persecution from Islamist's because they were Buddists, yet they still hold extremely anti-gay views.

Even here in Australia it's taken decades of LGBT struggle to end the criminality of homosexuality and to get marriage equality. It was like pulling teeth. The stalwarts of the Queen on the far right of the gov (Abbott etc) opposed us every step of the way. In the early days when Aussies were convicts and ruled by British slave lords, at the Hyde Park Barracks that I visited some time ago in Sydney, the British in charge had a peephole looking into the sleeping hammocks to bust convicts if they were taking part in homosexual behaviour.

The issue of British culpability in it's colonial empire was raised by Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Tom Daley, who is gay himself, that in 37 Commonwealth countries it's illegal to be who he is.

Daley voiced his concerns about the treatment of homosexuals in large parts of the Commonwealth, whose athletes are gathered on Australia’s Gold Coast for the ongoing Games.

 “Hopefully, I know this might sound a bit political, but by the next Commonwealth Games (in Birmingham 2022), there are 37 countries in the Commonwealth where it’s currently illegal to be who I am, so hopefully we can reduce that number between now and then,” Daley told reporters.

“Coming to the Gold Coast and being able to live as an openly gay man is really important and to be able to feel comfortable in who you are when you are standing on that diving board.

 “For 37 countries that are here participating that’s very much not the case.”

 Daley said it was time for those Commonwealth countries to change their anti-gay laws.

 “You just have to face those things and try and make change,” he said. The42

So a very welcome statement from British prime minister Theresa May addressing the British colonial issue and those laws that still exist today. 

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