72.5% of Sri Lankans support decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Overwhelming majority of Buddhists and Hindus support changes to the law.
An island wide survey conducted by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy shows that the overwhelming majority of Sri Lankans support lawmaker Premnath C. Dolawatte’s Bill to decriminalise homosexuality.
72.5% of Sri Lankans from all districts said a person living life as an LGBT person should not be punished or criminalised. Over 90% support came from Buddhist and Hindu communities, with the majority support also from the Christian and Muslim communities.
51.4% of those surveyed also said they would support laws that would enhance the rights of LGBT+ persons going beyond mere decriminalization.
1 in 4 Sri Lankans have an LGBT friend
Criminalisation of LGBT+ persons was introduced to Sri Lanka and Asia by the colonial West. Today, all non-Muslim Asian and a few Muslim Asian countries have decriminalised homosexuality. Several have also introduced constitutional protections for LGBT+ people.
Sri Lanka is a lone figure in Asia with our laws still reflecting colonial moral systems and not our own cultural heritage of acceptance.
The values of Sri Lankan people seem to be opposite to the prevailing laws. The survey found that 1 in 4 Sri Lankans have an LGBT+ friend, and nearly half said they will not be ashamed to have an LGBT child.
48% will vote for a transgender President
The survey also found that the majority of young people and nearly half of all Sri Lankans will vote for a transgender President.
Nearly 55% of people below 30 will vote a transgender President. This shows the marked disparity between the present legal system and how Sri Lankans view the leadership capability of the LGBT community.
Government to support decriminalisation
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry recently confirmed that the Government will support the Bill.
The question remains then, if the people are saying yes to the LGBT+ community, if Parliament will reflect the people’s will and take a historic step into the 21st century to value the dignity and humanity of the LGBT+ community.
1.5 million LGBT+ voters await Parliament’s decision
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