How does Buddhism shape social acceptance to the LGBT community in Sri Lanka?


Sri Lanka is a diverse society with 4 ethnicities of different religious belief, namely Buddhism (69.3%), Islam (7.6%), Hinduism (15.5%) and Roman Catholicism (7.6%). Of these religions, Buddhism is the dominant one practiced by Sri Lankan, mostly the majority Sinhala. Given Buddhism was given a legal privileged status by the state over other religion (UNDP 2011) and practiced by majority of people, Sri Lanka were regarded as a Buddhist society by the United Nation. Although Buddhist scriptures are respectful in the society, Buddhism’s lenient stances on homosexuality do not pose great influence on state’s legislations and attitude towards the sexual minorities.
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Sri Lanka is a buddhist society. However, since it was colonized by the Greath Britain in the 19th century, its penal codes are largely influenced by Christianity which is a dominant religion in Britain. After dependence, the laws are inherited by the state and enforced into the society. Thus, colonization is a more influencial factors affecting state policies, social acceptance, state attitude towards sexual minorities than Buddhism in post-colonial Sri Lanka. Obviously, buddhism are less influential in state policies and legislation of Sri Lanka.