Justin Trudeau is determined to advance LGBT rights in the Commonwealth. It will be no easy task to change attitudes in one of the world’s most homophobic institutions. But there are encouraging signs. Much will depend on a vote in London in June. Thirty-six of the Commonwealth’s 52 nations, representing two billion people, criminalize homosexual activity. Penalties range from jail time to execution. Even in countries where the laws aren’t strictly enforced, just having them on the books encourages a climate of violence, including murder – which often goes unpunished – and “corrective rape.” Intolerance, persecution and ignorance increase the spread of HIV/AIDS. More than two million are infected in India alone.
March 18 / Globe and Mail