Theresa May 'Deeply Regrets' the UK’s Role in Establishing Anti-Gay Laws In Former African Colonies
"The UK stands ready to support any Commonwealth nation wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible," said the British Prime Minister.
During a Commonwealth meeting in London on Monday, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May expressed regret over the country's colonial legacy which helped establish grave anti-gay laws in various African nations.
Today, 37 of the 53 Commonwealth countries still enforce colonial-era laws which punish same-sex relations, reports BBC Africa.
Laws "were wrong then and are wrong now," said May, recognizing Britain's central role in enforcing anti-gay attitudes that still plague people across the continent to this day. She also pledged the UK's support for any nation working towards eradicating such policies.
"Nobody should face discrimination and persecution because of who they are or who they love," said the leader during the meeting. "The UK stands ready to support any Commonwealth nation wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible," she added.
"Across the world discriminatory laws made many years ago continue to affect the lives of many people, criminalising same-sex relations and failing to protect women and girls."
South Africa became the first African nation to legalize gay marriage in 2006, but there is still immense work to be done. Strict anti-gay laws remain in place in countries like Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi and elsewhere across the continent.
For more on the subject, revisit our previous piece "Dissecting The 'Homosexuality Is Un-African' Myth."