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World Pride conference to focus on ending gay sex bans

Six activists from around the world will talk about LGBT rights in the Commonwealth at World Pride event in London
Sri Lankan activist Rosanna Flamer-Caldera will speak at World Pride conference.

Activists from six different countries around the world will talk about LGBT rights in the Commonwealth at a conference during London's World Pride celebrations next month.

The event in the UK capital on 4 July will focus on the decriminalization of homosexuality in countries where the Queen is still head of state and how best to achieve an end to gay bans around the world.

Six LGBT campaigners will speak at the all-day conference, including Sri Lanka’s Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Kemone Brown from Jamaica and India’s Siddharth Narrain, who was part of the legal team which helped challenge and overturn the country’s Section 377 law criminalizing gay sex.

Kenita Placide from St Lucia, Kenyan activist Akinyi Ocholla and Rizwana Yasmin from Pakistan will also talk.

Pride London director Sahran Abeysundara said: ‘We all know that the laws which currently exist in Commonwealth countries are old colonial laws and were imposed by the British.

‘However, what we do not want to happen is for there to be this new wave of colonialism happening where we now tell them they have to remove the laws. It can’t be seen to come from the west again dictating to the global south what they should be doing.

‘As activists around the world have realized is, we need to create the stage to have the possibility of dialogue happening and for the activists on the ground to instigate and forge their own path towards decriminalization.

‘It’s about finding that balance of how we facilitate that, without sounding as if we are new colonials.’

World Pride events are taking place from now until 8 July, with the main parade on 7 July.

Gay 80s icon Boy George and Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox will be performing on the main stage, as well as comedians, drag acts, singers and speakers.

Kicking off from Baker Street, the parade will have over 170 groups walking through Regent’s Street, through Piccadilly Circus and into the main arena of Trafalgar Square.

Gay Star News, as the official news source for World Pride, will have a float alongside some of themost gay-friendly companies including Accenture, Armed Forces, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Eagle Group IBM, Ernst & Young, Flag (Tesco), Smirnoff, St Mungo’s, Stonewall, Terrence Higgins Trust, and The Co-Operative.

The city of Las Vegas is the launch and destination partner of World Pride, hoping to draw attention to its own gay friendly bars, hotels, and restaurants.

Pride London and global LGBT organization Kaleidoscope Trust will be honoring US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the World LGBT Award this July at a gala dinner to celebrate the event.

The World Pride International Conference will be held at the Citadine Prestige Holborn in London's Covent Garden on 4 July, from 8am to 5pm. To book your place, click here.

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