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In November 2012, Malawi's President Joyce Banda suspended all laws that criminalised homosexuality.A report produced in November 2015 by the Human Dignity Trust in association with the Commonwealth Lawyers' Association claims that countries that continue to criminalize same-sex relationships were worsening the impacts of the HIV/AIDS crisis.The majority of countries have retained these laws following independence.

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In most cases, it was former colonial administrators that established anti-gay legislation or sodomy acts during the 19th century and even earlier.

In November 2015, Baroness Verma, Under-Secretary of State at the UK's Department for International Development announced that she would be chairing a round table on LGBT issues at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta.

Subsequently, in 2016 the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, urged Commonwealth countries to remove anti-LGBT laws while speaking at the Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey.

The majority of the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, formerly known as the British Commonwealth, still criminalise sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex and other forms of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Homosexual activity remains a criminal offence in 35 of the 53 sovereign states of the Commonwealth; and legal in only 18.

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