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Bhutan parliament decriminalizes homosexuality, to thrill of activists

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Sections 213 and 214 of the penal code had criminalized “unnatural intercourse,” extensively interpreted as homosexuality.

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Lawmaker Ugyen Wangdi, the vice chairperson of a joint panel contemplating the adjustments, stated 63 of the entire 69 members of each homes of parliament had voted in favor of amending the code to scrap the availability. Six members had been absent.

“Homosexuality won’t be thought-about as unnatural intercourse now,” Wangdi informed Reuters by telephone from the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu, with out giving particulars.

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The adjustments nonetheless must be permitted by the King of Bhutan to change into a legislation.

Rights activist Tashi Tsheten stated he was “thrilled and actually blissful” over the parliamentary transfer, calling it a “victory” for the LGBT+ neighborhood.

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“I feel the invoice being handed on Human Rights Day itself is a momentous day for everybody in Bhutan,” Tsheten, the director of LGBT+ group, Rainbow Bhutan, informed Reuters.

“I imagine everybody who has stood up for the LGBT+ neighborhood in Bhutan goes to have fun as we speak as that is our victory.”

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The transfer by the majority-Buddhist nation of 800,000 individuals comes after different Asian nations relaxed restrictions on the rights of the LGBT+ individuals.

Neighboring India eliminated a centuries-old colonial prohibition on homosexual intercourse in 2018, triggering celebration throughout the nation.

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In Nepal, authorities will rely LGBT+ individuals for the primary time within the nationwide census subsequent yr to assist sexual minorities achieve higher entry to training and well being schemes.

Bhutan is legendary for its “gross nationwide happiness” index as an alternative choice to gross home product to point actual financial progress or improvement.

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