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World Pride summit to change anti-gay global laws

International conference on LGBT human rights in the Commonwealth is to be hosted by Pride London next week
LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will open the conference.

London is bringing activists from around the world together next week for a summit on how to decriminalize gay sex across the Commonwealth.

The city's pride bosses, who are hosting the World Pride festival this year, have teamed up with gay international organization, Kaleidoscope Trust and the Human Dignity Trust to tackle homophobia in the Commonwealth.

Pride London has arranged for the conference to be the central event of its campaigning because of the number of countries across the globe where homosexuality is still against the law. Festival bosses have stated they will never forget the countries where it is still illegal to be gay whilst celebrating our freedoms in London.

Veteran LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will be hosting the conference with guest speakers, including activists Rizwana Yasmin from Pakistan; Rosanna Flamer-Caldera from Sri Lanka; Siddarth Narrain from India and Kemone Brown from South Africa.

The conference will examine laws across the Commonwealth which criminalise and persecute homosexuals, and the strategies in tackling and opposing such laws. Successes in changing the law in countries such as India will also be covered.

Sahran Abeysundara of Pride London said: 'The Commonwealth has particular significance to the UK and the law that criminalises the majority of the world’s LGBT community is an ancient British law. We strongly feel that this is an issue that must be addressed.’

Overall, the conference is an attractive opportunity for anyone who has an interest in equality and LGBT rights. A focus of the conference is to look at strategies of changing public opinion towards LGBT rights so a great deal of attendance is expected. Many HR professionals from the companies listed on the Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2012 index, are expected to attend with to offer views in enhancing knowledge of LGBT issues in the corporate sector.

Bisi Alimi of the Kaleidoscope Trust added: ‘We are committed to working with partners all over the world to support LGBT human rights. This conference is a great opportunity from those people who must live with these discriminatory laws every day. It should never be a crime to be gay.’

The LGBT Rights and the Commonwealth conference will be held at the Citadines Prestige Holborn, Covent Garden on 4 July.

To book attendance, visit the Pride London website. Attendance is £150 (€187, $234) and places are limited to 180. For any further information on Kaleidoscope Trust visit their website.

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