This Reddit isn't representative of the general populace so it's probably not the best place to ask.
IMO Sri Lankans aren't actively homophobic but that's mostly because they don't care/know about the topic in general. There are a few idiots who think they know everything and go on about how homosexuality is a western import that is destroying our culture when infact it is homophobia and laws that criminalise are the real western imports that are against our culture - homosexuality was accepted in pre-colonial Ceylon where Portuguese traders recorded 'sinful' accounts of Sodomy which elites (including the monarch) partook in.
Surprisingly the Asgiriya Chapter (equivalent to the Vatican/Holy see of Sri Lankan Buddhists, IYDK) agree that sexual minorities shouldn't be discriminated against because it's a natural occurrence and a private matter but then contradicts and goes on to say how decriminalisation would lead to "acceptance" or "approval" of their lifestyles which would destroy the culture.
It's pretty obvious that most Sri Lankan don't understand the difference between decriminalisation of private consensual between adults and the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Basically they're against same-sex marraige/public acceptance of the LGBIQA+ (T is legally recognised whether they like it or not) but don't care what others do in private.
I don't think it's hard to decriminalise homosexuality and call for greater acceptance but the government has to communicate the exact purpose of decriminalisation, what would be allowed, etc so that people don't become paranoid. Public figures like Sanga, Mahela and Otara could help too.
As for the comments, a lot of people found the idiot-in-command funny but most of them (perhaps MR too agree that it was inappropriate for an elected public representative, the head of state to make such derogatory remarks in public.
Anyway I hope that leach resigns before the parliament impeaches him. Also I have a feeling that if the UNP regains control, they would expedite decriminalisation soley because of the president's comments.