The Kingdom of Brunei’s anti-gay punishment will come into effect today, meaning anyone found guilty of engaging a raft of behaviours including homosexuality will be stoned to death.
Brunei‘s stoning death penalty is to be implemented today despite a massive international backlash. The adoption of sharia-based laws means that anyone found guilty of engaging in gay sex will be stoned to death. The law also means that anyone found guilty of committing adultery or trying to denounce Islam or insulting the Prophet Muhammad will also be dealt with the death penalty.
Those found guilty of theft will have their hands amputated.
Not all laws or punishments will affect non-Muslims in the region.
Homosexuality is already illegal in Brunei and is one of 35 of 53 nations of the Commonwealth in which homosexuality is illegal. It is the second of those nations to make the “crime” punishable by death.
What has the UK said it will do?
In 2018 the UK’s government launched an LGBT+ action plan, in which it said it wanted to deal with issues faced by the LGBT community across the Commonwealth. Part of the plan specifically mentioned the Commonwealth. The government has offered support to Commonwealth countries wishing to reform discriminatory legislation. There is a £5.6 million programme, to be delivered through civil society organisations and will advance the legal equality and rights of all Commonwealth citizens, regardless of gender, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. However, critics say that £5.6 million is a minuscule amount of money to split between the nations that could consider decriminalising homosexuality.
The government also stated it would, “work through UK embassies, high commissions and through international organisations, including the United Nations, European institution and the Commonwealth, to protect and promote LGBT rights and to address laws discriminating against LGBT people”.
Theresa May: anti-gay laws are “were wrong then, and they are wrong now”.
In April 2018, the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May said that anti-gay laws in the Commonwealth “were wrong then, and they are wrong now”.
In a speech to the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Ms May said, “I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now
“As the UK’s prime minister, I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced, and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today,” she added.