Mauritius Supreme Court docket decriminalizes sodomy in landmark choice – JURIST

The Supreme Court docket of Mauritius declared on Wednesday {that a} regulation criminalizing sodomy is “unconstitutional.” The court docket discovered that the availability of the nation’s legal code criminalizing sodomy discriminated in opposition to homosexual males on the premise of intercourse.

The court docket dominated on claims introduced forth by “Collectif-Arc-en-Ciel” (CAEC), on behalf of a person named Abdool Ridwan Firaas Ah Search. In line with Search, he realized he was homosexual when he was 13. Previous to Wednesday’s ruling, part 250 of the Mauritius Criminal Code made it a legal offense for 2 males to interact in consensual anal intercourse, even within the privateness of their very own houses. Search introduced forth a declare to the court docket, arguing that this violated his proper to freedom from degrading therapy, because the regulation empowered regulation enforcement to enter and search his residence on solely a mere suspicion of a bit 250 offense.

In response, the state of Mauritius argued that it has already handed legal guidelines to ban discrimination in opposition to homosexuals. However Search’s staff insisted that whereas it’s not unlawful to be gay in Mauritius, part 250 made it unlawful to precise one’s homosexuality. Additionally they stated that the criminalization of sodomy triggered homosexual folks to be labeled as criminals in society.

The court docket discovered that part 250 violated provisions of the Mauritius Constitution that defend equal rights and liberty within the nation. Particularly, section 16 of the structure prohibits discrimination based mostly on “intercourse.” Similar to landmark LGBT rights cases within the US, the court docket interpreted “intercourse” to incorporate “sexual orientation.” Although part 250 was “ostensibly impartial” as a result of it solely prohibited a sure sexual act—anal intercourse—its impact was discriminatory in opposition to homosexual males. Due to this fact, the court docket declared it unconstitutional.

Social media and LGBTQ+ rights teams applauded the choice online on Wednesday. In line with Human Dignity Trust, a non-governmental group that supported Search’s authorized efforts, the choice brings the variety of international locations that proceed to criminalize homosexuality all the way down to 65. Different African international locations’ efforts to take away legal guidelines that stigmatize the LGBTQ+ neighborhood have been met with fierce legislative opposition and public discourse.

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