Elton John, George Michael to attend launch of international gay rights group

Kaleidoscope will fight homophobic persecution in Commonwealth countries

Elton John and George Michael are both set to attend the launch of Kaleidoscope, a new cross-party gay rights group.

Kaleidoscope will launch tomorrow (September 13) at the House of Commons, and aims to combat homophobic discrimination in Commonwealth countries, particularly African nations.

Supported by Prime Minister David Cameron as well as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband, the new group will aim to revoke 19th British colonial anti-gay laws and put an end to persecution of gay and lesbian citizens, using business and political pressure, reports the Independent.

In 38 of the 54 Commonwealth countries, homosexuality is still a crime, punishable by 25 years behind bars in Trinidad and Tobago and 20 years in jail, plus flogging in Malaysia. Nearly all of the anti-homosexual laws were introduced by Britain when it was a colonial power, and the laws were never repealed when the countries gained independence.

David Cameron has said:

In some countries, it’s simply appalling how people can be treated – how their rights are trampled on and the prejudices, and even violence, they suffer. I want Britain to be a global beacon for reform.