Decriminalizing Same Sex Relations In Asia: Socio-Cultural Factors Impeding Legal Reform

Editorial note: (why former British colonies in Asia have resisted calls to decriminalize same sex relation)

I. Introduction
In 1967, homosexual acts between consenting adults were decriminalized in England and Wales.1

Almost half a century later, however, it remains an offense to engage in same sex acts or same sex relations2 in every former British colony in Asia, with the exception of Hong Kong.3 These former colonies include

Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in South Asia, and Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore in Southeast Asia.4 Each inherited a penal code from its erstwhile colonial government that, to this day, explicitly or implicitly prohibits same sex relations.5

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