Sunday, 20 October, 2019

Theresa May says she deeply regrets Britain's legacy of anti-gay laws

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by the Indian Community in Stockholm Sweden | PTI
Patty Aguilar | 18 April, 2018, 05:09

Theresa May, Prime Minister of Britain, has urge to President Buhari and other leaders of Commonwealth nations to legalise same sex marriage in their countries.

She said any change in attitudes is down to hard work by Peter Tatchell Foundation, Human Dignity Trust and the Kaleidoscope Trust, among a number of organisations, that have campaigned tirelessly for the United Kingdom to recognise its role in implementing these laws in countries across the globe and advocate for their repeal. The three nations that have most recently decriminalised same-sex relationships are all Commonwealth members, and since the heads of government last met the Commonwealth has agreed to accredit its first organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

No one should face discrimination based on who they are or who they love, Theresa May said.

Speaking at the business forum opening session at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, she said she deeply regretted that such laws had been introduced, and highlighted the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that exists today. But it should have been made in front of the Commonwealth leaders who oversee the enforcement of these repressive laws, not at a NGO side event.

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LGBT campaigners have used the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to call for Britain to apologise and push for change, launching a petition, a picket and lighting up the Houses of Parliament with a call for decriminalisation.

The Prime Minister said there should be no laws criminalising same-sex relationships across the Commonwealth.

She added: "There remains much to do". I am all too aware that these laws were put in place by my own country; they were wrong then and they are wrong now. Nobody should face persecution or discrimination because of who they are or who they love.

This year's summit is officially hosting gay rights activists under the umbrella of the Commonwealth Equality Network, giving grassroots campaigners the opportunity to lobby worldwide government ministers and officials directly.

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