Read her comments on same-sex laws in the Commonwealth in full here.
Theresa May today admitted that she believes there should be no laws that criminalise same-sex relationships across the Commonwealth. The comments were made at the first joint forum at Commonwealth Head of Government Meetings in Westminster.
The speech also saw the Prime Minister state that she deeply regretted the discriminatory laws banning same-sex relations in the United Kingdom, which were abolished years ago. However, 37 of the Commonwealth’s 53 member nations still hold similar laws.
The full section of Theresa May’s speech concerning LGBTQ+ rights can be read below.
“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.
“I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. As the UK’s Prime Minister, I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced, and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.
“As a family of nations we must respect one another’s cultures and traditions. But we must do so in a manner consistent with our common value of equality, a value that is clearly stated in the Commonwealth charter.
“Recent years have brought welcome progress. 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.
“Yet there remains much to do. Nobody should face persecution or discrimination because of who they are or who they love. And the UK stands ready to support any Commonwealth member wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible.”