A petition calling for commonwealth countries to repeal anti-LGBT laws ahead of The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the UK in April 2018 has received more than 103,000 signatures.
The petition, led by Edwin Sesange of the African Equality Foundation, urges countries to decriminalize same-sex relations, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and enforce laws against threats and violence, to protect LGBTI people from hate crime.
Thirty-seven out of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth criminalize same-sex relations.
These include Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Sri Lanka.
Sesange told Pink Star News: "These signatures represent a need which can no longer be ignored by the leadership of the Commonwealth.
"I appeal to the leaders and other stakeholders to represent the views and voices of the innocent, oppressed, discriminated and persecuted LGBTI people."
A number of old British colonies retained the British Penal Code after independence which includes an Article 377 which criminalizes "carnal intercourse against the order of nature."