Bhutan’s Parliament Voted To Legalize Gay Sex

Photo by Hà Nguyễn on Unsplash

Good for the Kingdom of Bhutan.

The small South Asian nation’s parliament has approved a bill to legalize gay sex within its country. The isolated country found in the Himalaya’s has outdated restrictions in Sections 214 and 215 of the country’s Penal Code. These laws criminalize “unnatural sex.”

As Section 213 specifically states, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offense of unnatural sex, if the defendant engages in sodomy or any other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature.” Section 214 then has a line saying that the “offense of unnatural sex shall be a petty misdemeanor.”

But according to the New York Daily News, the Gyelyong Tshokhang voted 69 to 63 in favor of changing the law so that homosexuality is not considered unnatural sex.

“Homosexuality will not be considered as unnatural sex now,” lawmaker Ugyen Wangdi, the vice-chairperson of a panel that considered the repeal, told Reuters.

At the news of this vote, LGBTQ rights activists have expressed their excitement and joy.

“For too long, the human rights of LGBTIQ people have not been recognized,” Jessica Stern, OutRight Action International’s executive director, said in a statement.

“Today, Bhutan chose to tell a different story and create a different future for itself,” Stern said as she equated the vote as “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.”

“I think the bill being passed on Human Rights Day itself is a momentous day for everyone in Bhutan,” Tsheten, the director of LGBT+ group Rainbow Bhutan, told Reuters. “I believe everyone who has stood up for the LGBT+ community in Bhutan is going to celebrate today as this is our victory.”


Source: The New York Daily News, CNN, Thomson Reuters Foundation,

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