Jonathan Drew, British High Commissioner to Mauritius, deplored that Mauritius has not been able to do away with “terrible colonial-era law” against gays.
Jonathan Drew, British High Commissioner to Mauritius, established his mandate just before the 2014 General Elections which saw the unexpected defeat of the PTr-MMM coalition to the now dismantled MSM-PMSD-ML coalition. During his mandate to Mauritius, he has had the opportunity to deal with a number of issues, of which perhaps the most crucial being the Chagos/Diego Garcia matter whereby Mauritius is claiming sovereignty over the islands.
One of the most remarkable involvements of the British High Commission in Mauritius has been with the NGO sector. In his interview, Jonathan stated that:
“I have been to meetings of the Young Queer Alliance and I have been to the LGBT Pride celebrations this year. The EU, to which the UK gives funds, has supported local LGBT NGOs.”
He stressed on progress made for LGBT rights in Seychelles with decriminalisation of homosexual sex and this week, it shall be 50 years since the UK did same. However, he feels that:
“Mauritius is a rainbow nation, but there is just this bit of the rainbow that shines a little less brightly than the other parts.”
He wishes that Mauritius will enter into dialogue and understand that everyone are born equal and despite communities disagreeing, basic human rights should never be derogated and people from political parties should be united to drive the agenda forward.
One of his personal joyous moments happened in Mauritius. Jonathan and his parther, Grant, came to mauritius as civil partners and while being in Mauritius, in December 2015, Grant proposed him. They are both leaving Mauritius now as husbands; married and wishes that every Mauritians of every sexuality would be able to enjoy a similar moment.
However Jonathan also deplored that many times, his partner is not invited as spouse to attend official events whereas other missions and diplomacies have their wives and husbands (heterosexual) invited.
At the Young Queer Alliance, we feel honoured and have a sense of inclusion that during events at the British High Commission, invitation is always sent to the President and their (same-sex) partner.
The Young Queer Alliance wishes to thank the British High Commission in Mauritius and Jonathan Drew for their continued support to the LGBT cause and towards the organisation and wish him the very best in his new undertakings.
Link to interview in Express Weekly: “Mauritius has not been able to do away with the terrible colonial-era law of discrimination against gays”