Commonwealth: LGBT People

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to promote the protection of LGBT rights in each member state of the Commonwealth.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

​We continue to raise the importance of countering discrimination within the Commonwealth, including on grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation. In her speech to the Commonwealth Forums on 17 April, my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister set out the UK's readiness to support any member state wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation possible. The Prime Minister was clear that while we must respect one another's cultures and traditions, we must do so in a manner consistent with our common value of equality, a value that is clearly stated in the Commonwealth Charter. We have since announced a £5.6m programme working with civil society organisations to support those countries who might wish to reform discriminatory legislation. Due to the highly sensitive and sometimes dangerous nature of this work, it would not be appropriate to name specific member states.

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