The advances in gay rights in the West, including gay marriage, has led to a "perverse" worsening of LGBT freedoms in the developing world, a global equal rights campaign group has warned.
Writing for The Huffington Post UK on Thursday, Alistair Stewart, the assistant director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said as "champagne corks are popped in London and Paris" countless setbacks, reversals and outrages were happening elsewhere.
"The achievement of equal marriage, parenting and adoption rights and full legal protection can actually impede the struggles in other parts of the world where the battles for LGBT people are about the most fundamental of human rights," he said. "76 countries continue to criminalise ‘homosexual conduct’, punishable with prison sentences and hard labour. In five countries the death penalty still applies."
On Tuesday prominent Cameroonian gay rights activist Eric Lembembe was found dead. His killing follows several attacks on the offices of human rights workers, including those working for equal rights for gay people.
In a statement Human Rights Watch said: "We don’t know who killed Eric Lembembe, or why he was killed, but one thing is clear: the Cameroonian authorities’ utter failure to stem homophobic violence sends the message that these attacks can be carried out with impunity."
Stewart said that Western opponents of gay rights were increasingly moving their resources to the developing world.
"American Evangelical Churches are abandoning the fight against equality at home, in favour of supporting homophobic laws abroad," he said.
"Why fight a losing battle against social liberalism in America or Europe, where you are increasingly ignored and ridiculed, when in Uganda, Belize or Nigeria you are welcomed with open arms. In this perverse way the successes of the LGBT movement in the North, and in particular in the United States, have acted to worsen conditions in the South."
The Kaleidoscope Trust, which boasts Commons Speaker John Bercow as its president, warned against complacency after the British government's gay marriage legislation made it in to law.Suggest a correction