In the United Kingdom, a man is free to marry a fellow man. A woman can also contract a marriage with a fellow woman. It is called gay or homosexual marriage and it is protected by law.

But United Kingdom did not always support gay marriage. In fact, like most of Africa, it considered it a taboo, and during the colonial days, it made laws that prohibited and punished any homosexual acts in all its colonies.

But it has since seen the light and now regrets such anti-gay past. However, most of the former colonies have upheld the anti-gay laws up until this day – a situation that now gives British Prime Minister Theresa May a headache.

On Tuesday, May regretted Britain’s role in anti-gay legislation across its former colonies, seeking to address criticism of the Commonwealth at its gathering in London.

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May is looking to reinvigorate the Commonwealth, a 53-country network of mostly former colonies, as Britain seeks new post-Brexit ways to project its influence in the world and establish a role as a leader of free trade.

Speaking on the second day of a week-long meeting in London, May addressed a wide range of humanitarian and environmental issues, including laws which outlaw same-sex activity in 37 of its 53 member nations.

She is now asking Nigeria and those other countries to consider allowing men and women to marry themselves.

“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,” May said.

“As the United Kingdom’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,” May added.

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