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Rudd takes stand as NZ apparently remains silent

Sat 29 Oct 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was reportedly backed up only by his Canadian counterpart Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has raised the issue of the criminalisation of homosexuality with Commonwealth leaders, but there is yet no word on any action by New Zealand at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth. Sex between men is a criminal act in 39 of the 54 Commonwealth nations, and the penalties include 25 years jail in Trinidad and Tobago and 20 years, plus flogging, in Malaysia. In Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Pakistan, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana the penalty is life imprisonment, while there have been, homophobic witch-hunts in Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ghana. The Star Observer reports Rudd yesterday raised the issue with Commonwealth foreign ministers. "He strongly declared Australia's position on decriminalisation, and our determination to continue to advocate for lgbt ights within the Commonwealth and more broadly," a spokeswoman for Rudd said. The Star Observer says it understands Canada's foreign minister was the only other leader to join Australia's calls. Foreign Minister Murray McCully is representing New Zealand at CHOGM and has not yet responded to a request from Daily News for comment on New Zealand's stance on the issue.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 29th October 2011 - 5:32pm

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