Sri Lankan government legalizes LGBTQ relationships

In Sri Lanka, someone can be jailed for up to ten years if they have an ‘unnatural’ relationship with someone of the same sex. The government supports the plan to end this legislation, which dates back to colonial times.

Sri Lanka is taking a step forward when it comes to LGBTQ rights. The government has announced that same-sex relationships are no longer a criminal offence.


The new bill will amend Sections 365 and 365A of Sri Lanka’s 1883 Penal Code to make sexual activity legal between adult people of the same sex when that activity takes place by mutual consent.

Currently, the law, which dates back to the colonial era, considers same-sex relationships to be unnatural. A person can face up to ten years in prison and a fine if convicted.


Now these relationships are no longer penalized. The amendment does not mean that marriage between people of the same sex will be recognised. LGBTQ activists nevertheless call the news a good step forward. Rosanna Flamer Caldera of the LGBTQ organization Equal Ground told The Washington Blade in a response that she is “optimistic, but cautious.”

She added: “Our organization has been advocating for decriminalization for over nineteen years. It’s good to see the work finally paying off. But there is still a long way to go.”