Theresa Could “deeply regrets” the criminalisation of same-sex relations in former British colonies, saying they “have been incorrect then and are incorrect now”.
Talking on the Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly (CHOGM), the Prime Minister stated the UK would assist any Commonwealth nation looking for to reform “outdated” laws.
“I’m all too conscious that these legal guidelines have been usually put in place by my very own nation,” Mrs Could stated.
“They have been incorrect then and they’re incorrect now.
“As the UK’s Prime Minister I deeply remorse each the truth that such legal guidelines have been launched and the legacy of discrimination, violence and dying that persists as we speak.
“As a household of countries we should respect each other’s cultures and traditions however we should achieve this in a way according to our widespread worth of equality – a worth that’s clearly acknowledged within the Commonwealth Constitution.
“No person ought to face discrimination or persecution due to who they’re or who they love and the UK stands prepared to assist any Commonwealth member eager to reform outdated laws that makes such discrimination doable.”
The Prime Minister had been urged to apologise for Britain’s homophobic previous.
Human rights and LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell stated forward of the speech: “UK PM ought to apologise at @Commonwealth18 for UK imposing anti-gay legal guidelines that also stay in most #Commonwealth international locations.
“This is able to spotlight that these legal guidelines usually are not indigenous & not originated by most nations that retain them.”
Final week, Tom Daley additionally made a plea for Commonwealth international locations to decriminalise homosexuality.
Talking on the Commonwealth Video games, the homosexual athlete stated: “There are 37 international locations within the Commonwealth the place it’s unlawful to be who I’m. And hopefully we are able to scale back that quantity.”
A majority of nations within the Commonwealth of Nations at present have discriminatory legal guidelines in opposition to same-sex sexual acts, and different discriminatory legal guidelines concerning gender expression and sexual orientation, with punishments that embrace imprisonment and the dying penalty.
In most of those international locations, anti-gay laws is a relic of the British Empire, when British colonial directors imposed discriminatory legal guidelines within the territories they dominated within the 19th century.
These techniques, and the attitudes related to them, have been then retained by governments after independence.
Final Thursday noticed a milestone for LGBT rights in Trinidad and Tobago, the place a decide dominated that anti-buggery legal guidelines have been unconstitutional and discriminatory.
However in different international locations the state of affairs for individuals who aren’t heterosexual is getting worse.
In Uganda, an act handed in 2014 elevated sentencing for homosexual intercourse acts, and likewise criminalised civil actions regarding LGBT rights.