LGBT campaigners were hopeful on Tuesday that a call by British Prime Minister Theresa May for Commonwealth countries to reform outdated anti-gay legislation would help to stop widespread persecution and discrimination. Speaking as leaders of the 53 Commonwealth nations met in London, May said she "deeply" regretted the UK's role in fuelling "discrimination, violence and even death" as nobody should be persecuted for "who they are or who they love". About 37 of the 53 mostly former British colonies still have colonial-era laws which criminalize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identities with same-sex sexual activity punishable by life imprisonment in nine of those countries. LGBT campaigners have used the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to call for Britain to apologize and push for change, launching a petition, a picket and lighting up the Houses of Parliament with a call for decriminalization.
April 17 / Reuters Foundation