Theresa May ‘Deeply Regrets’ Colonial Anti-LGBT Laws
By Human Rights Watch - Wed Apr 18, 2:39 pm
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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May hosts a meeting with leaders and representatives of Caribbean countries, at 10 Downing Street in London April 17, 2018.
© 2018 Reuters
Meeting Commonwealth leaders this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed regret for Britain’s role in criminalizing same-sex conduct in its former colonies. “I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country,” she said. “They were wrong then and they are wrong now.” May added that the UK government would support reform of legislation that discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in former colonies.
It’s a welcome symbolic step towards justice for LGBT people affected by colonial-era “sodomy laws,” which had a wide-ranging impact and still exist in 36 of the 53 Commonwealth countries. The Human Rights Watch report, “This Alien Legacy”, shows how laws criminalizing consensual same-sex conduct were introduced across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific, and the Caribbean under British rule, contributing to a climate of hostility against LGBT people. Human Rights Watch has documented how they still contribute to violence and discrimination against LGBT people in the Eastern Caribbean, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Kenya, Burma, Nigeria, Uganda, and Jamaica….