ELTON John and David Furnish have leant their support to young people from across the Commonwealth who gathered at Windsor Great Park this week to argue for gay people’s rights.

Sir Elton, who has a home in Old Windsor with Mr Furnish and their children, sent a letter of support to a Freedom and Sexuality conference that took place at Cumberland Lodge in the Great Park last Monday and Tuesday to discuss the persecution of gay, bisexual and transgender people in 37 Commonwealth countries.

Sir Elton called on everyone at the conference to work with people of influence ‘to engage in new, cross-boundary dialogue to develop greater understanding, compassion and tolerance of an individual’s sexuality’.

High-profile participants in the conference, alongside the 36 international student delegates, included Jonah Chinga from the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, Liz Barker who is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats and Donnya Piggott (Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination).

Sir Stephen Wall, former Foreign Policy Adviser at 10 Downing Street, chairman of Trustees at Cumberland Lodge and chairman at the Kaleidoscope Trust, said: “This conference allowed the voices of young people from different countries and backgrounds to be heard and to send a message.” that the baton is passing to a new generation with a different and more inclusive view of the world.”

A conference statement was produced which called on the governments of Commonwealth nations to decriminalise same-sex sexual activity among consenting adults, and enshrine the rights of gay, bisexual and transgender people in anti-discrimination legislation.