Conservative responses to the persecution of LGBTI people around the World

Tuesday, 1st April 2014

House of Commons, Committee Room 16

New laws around the world are leading to the abuse of LGBTI people. A law in Russia banning so-called "homosexual propaganda" has made it more difficult for LGBTI people to live normal lives. And gay people in Uganda and Nigeria now face even harsher penalties, including life imprisonment.

The criminalisation of homosexuality remains widespread. Over 80 jurisdictions – including about 80% of Commonwealth countries – have laws criminalising private, consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex.

With the recent Supreme Court decision in India to overturn the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India and an ongoing court case challenging the legitimacy of the gay sex ban in Belize, what additional measures should Conservatives be taking to support the decriminalisation of homosexuality around the world, especially in those countries with a British colonial legacy?

And what should a Conservative-led government be doing to react to anti-gay laws across the world?


Jonathan Cooper OBE, CEO, The Human Dignity Trust

Jonathan is an international human rights law practitioner. As a barrister in private practice, he has worked with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the UK Ministry of Justice, the UK Home Office and the Director of Service Prosecutions. Jonathan has extensive experience in litigating LGBTI issues, most notably he was junior counsel in the UK’s gays in the armed forces case. He has also acted for applicants in establishing key human rights protection for trans people. In the early 1990s, Jonathan was one of the co-authors of the UK’s Declaration of Rights for People Living With HIV/AIDS.

Jasmine O'Connor, Senior International Officer, Stonewall

Jasmine O’Connor is Stonewall’s International Officer. Jasmine joined Stonewall in May 2012 and is responsible for developing the charity’s work on gay equality internationally. She has extensive experience of human rights and international development work. She holds an MA in Diplomacy and is studying for an LLM in Human Rights.

Colm Howard-Lloyd, Chairman, LGBTory

Colm is a political speechwriter and strategist and has been involved in LGBTory for a number of years. He was elected LGBTory Chairman in 2014. He is also a trustee of Food Chain, and a former Vice-Chair of Pride London (the annual parade, protest and party) and has been an advisor to HIV-charity Health Initiatives, assisting them with governance and finance issues.


Chaired by:

Crispin Blunt MP

Crispin contested West Bromwich East at the 1992 general election and has been Member of Parliament for Reigate since 1997. He served as Prisons and Youth Justice minister in the Ministry of Justice. He is an LGBTory Patron.


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