COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Hundreds of members of Sri Lanka’s LGBTQ+ community paraded through the streets of the capital Colombo on Sunday to mark the Pride month and demand an end to discrimination.
The marchers carried rainbow flags and placards calling for a ban of so-called conversion therapies, an end of police harassment of the LGBTQ+ community and equal treatment.
Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist nation holding conservative values and it is rare for people with different sexual orientation to voice their demands in public. Even though there have been similar parades in previous years, last year’s anti-government protests amid an unprecedented economic crisis have helped the LGBTQ+ communities to come out stronger, organisers said.
Sri Lanka’s laws still consider homosexuality a crime and a bill is pending before Parliament to decriminalise homosexuality.