UK pledges over £5m to help Commonwealth countries reverse LGBTI laws

UK pledges over £5m to help Commonwealth countries reverse LGBTI laws
UK pledges over £5m to help Commonwealth countries reverse LGBTI laws

It’s a step forward to making the world better | Photo: Flickr/Matt Buck

This week, anti-LGBTI laws within Commonwealth nations have been making headlines.

It started with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). On the first day of the summit, the non-profit group All Out, projected messages of these laws on London buildings.

Since then, reversing these laws became a major talking point at the summit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May apologized for the laws, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle declared their commitment to LGBTI rights.

It all coalesced into a massive protest and, today, real action.

UK Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Amber Rudd announced the UK government is taking a step forward. They are pledging £5.6 million to help advance LGBTI rights in Commonwealth countries.

‘It won’t go far’

Baroness Elizabeth Barker, a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, praised the donation.

She’s a co-founder of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Global LGBT+ Rights and warns that while the pledge is welcome, ‘it won’t go far’.

In a statement sent to GSN, Barker advises: ‘The LGB community in the U.K. should commit to matching that sum, and should aim to triple it, so that organisations such as Kaleidoscope Trust,  the Royal Commonwealth Society, Human Dignity Trust and Sisters for Change can extend their highly effective networks.’

She also believes there is room for faith organizations and churches to step up and help.

‘Churches with resources should also match funds to make reparation for the harm they have done and to counteract the poison still being spread by their co-religionists,’ she writes.

It will ‘put a dent in the confidence of Commonwealth politicians who abuse religion for their own ends’.

Barker acknowledges this week people in the Commonwealth were ‘given new hope’, but there is still work to be done.

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