LGBTQFriday 19th.

LGBTQ+ victory: Same-sex relations decriminalised in Mauritius

LGBTQ+ victory: Same-sex relations decriminalised in Mauritius

It’s a victory for the LGBTQ+ community as the Supreme Court ended the law that decriminalised same-sex relations.

LGBTQFriday 19th.

LGBTQ+ victory: Same-sex relations decriminalised in Mauritius

In a historic judgement for the LGBTQ+ community, the Supreme Court of Mauritius announced the decriminalisation of same-sex relations. According to the court, the previous law that was passed by the British during the colonial period went against the gay community and was unconstitutional. It is a momentous victory for the LGBTQ+ community who were previously threatened with a maximum of five years imprisonment for same-sex relations in the country.

The ruling puts Mautiruis on the list of LGBTQ+-friendly countries in Africa. The African continent currently has 22 countries that have legalised homosexuality. With a total of 55 countries on the continent, however, there is still a long way to go for equality.

ALSO READ: LGBTQI+ Ugandans are already seeking refuge in SA

What did the court say about LGBTQ+ rights?

According to their ruling, the Supreme Court referred to a case that discussed the same relationship between homosexual men. The court noted that there must exist “serious reasons for the State to justifiably interfere with how homosexual men choose to have consensual sexual intercourse in private.”

The court found that outdated law was discriminatory towards the LGBTQ+ community and violated their constitutional rights. The provisions of the Mauritius Constitution granted equal rights and liberty in the country.

ALSO READ: Ugandan man charged with anti-gay crime to face death penalty

Mauritius receives positive responses

The judgement was followed by positive responses across the community. The Human Dignity Trust announced that the decision ends 185 years of stigma against the LGBTQ+ people in Mauritius. They saw the decision as an important message to the countries where the decriminalisation of anti-LGBTQ+ laws remains.

UNAids also had positive feedback for the judgement. According to the organisation, the ruling was seen as an important step forward for the LGBTQ+ community. According to their press release, there is still work to be done to break down stigmas, however, they stated that “today’s ruling is a positive step in the right direction. It will save lives”.

ALSO READ: Biden urges repeal against Uganda anti-gay law

African nations that are paving the way for the LGBTQ+ community

Apart from Mauritius, many countries have ended their colonial-era laws against same-sex relations. South Africa is known to be one of the most friendly LGBTQ+ nations, joined by Mozambique, Angola, Botswana and Seychelles.

ALSO READ: EU parliament against Uganda anti-gay bill

African nations with the strictest anti-LGBTQ+ laws

Uganda received criticism worldwide for its anti-LGBTQ+ laws, which threaten the death penalty for same-sex activities. Other nations with strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws that face harsh punishments include Mauritania, Somalia and Nigeria.