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Bhutan lawmaker says law criminalizing gays may go

Bhutan lawmaker says law criminalizing gays may go

Gasa Dzongkhag MP and Secretary of Bhutan’s National Land Commission Sangay Khandu has said that laws criminalizing homosexuality in the Himalayan nation will need to be reviewed as attitudes change towards LGBT people.

‘The issue is when the law is there and if people do not enforce it, is it okay?’ Khandu told the Australia News Network.

‘With time, as society progresses and thoughts broaden, homosexuality may need to be revisited.’

Khandu said that decriminalizing consensual private sex acts was in line with the country’s move towards democracy.

‘In a democratic society, it becomes even more important because democracy promotes liberty,’ Khandu said.

Bhutan banned ‘sodomy or any other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature’ in its 2004 Penal Code as a petty misdemeanor punishable with from between one month to less than one year’s jail time.

However the law has never been used in the last nine years despite LGBTs becoming increasing visible and networking online.

A public group, ‘LGBT Bhutan,’ on Facebook has nearly 450 members.