British Prime Minister Theresa May last week told former colonies, including Singapore and Malaysia, that anti-gay laws once imposed by her country "were wrong then, and they are wrong now."
"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," she said in a speech to the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on Tuesday.
"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.
Thirty-seven out of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth criminalize same-sex relations.
These include Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Sri Lanka.
Britain's premier said her government would back plans to scrap such laws: "The UK stands ready to support any Commonwealth member wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible."