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Bhutan lawmakers vote to decriminalise same-sex relations

By: AP | Gauhati |

Updated: December 11, 2020 2:11:10 pm





The modification modifications two articles of the felony code to make clear that “homosexuality between adults shall not be considered unnatural sex.” (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Bhutan’s Parliament has voted to decriminalize same-sex relations, amending an current legislation that penalized what it deemed “unnatural sex.”

The modification was accepted Thursday by 63 out of 69 lawmakers, with six abstaining from voting. The modification now wants to be accepted by Bhutan’s king to turn into legislation.

The modification modifications two articles of the felony code to make clear that “homosexuality between adults shall not be considered unnatural sex.” The penalty for partaking in prohibited sexual conduct is up to a 12 months in jail.

“I haven’t stopped smiling since yesterday. I am eagerly awaiting His Majesty’s assent,” mentioned Tashi Tsheten, a Bhutanese activist who has labored to change the legislation.

He mentioned the modification means LGBTIQ individuals in Bhutan might be in a position to lead a greater and extra dignified life after dealing with stigma and discrimination for therefore lengthy.

Jessica Stern, govt director of the activist group OutRight Action International, mentioned in a press release that the vote in Bhutan was a “huge achievement.”

“For too long, the human rights of LGBTIQ people have not been recognized. Today, Bhutan chose to tell a different story and create a different future for itself,” Stern mentioned.

“It is both a testament to the perseverance of the LGBTIQ movement in Bhutan, and a source of inspiration for LGBTIQ movements across the continent and the world where such laws are still in effect,” she mentioned.

Bhutan is a tiny landlocked nation with a inhabitants of 770,000 individuals situated within the southern foothills of the Himalayan mountains, sandwiched between China to the north and India to the south.

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