On 6th September 2018, the Supreme Court of India held that section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalised “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, was unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalised consensual same-sex intimacy. In particular, it held that the provision violated Article 14 (equality before the law), Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination), Article 19 (freedom of expression), and Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty - encompassing privacy, dignity and health). In doing so, the Court overruled as “constitutionally impermissible” and “fallacious” the Supreme Court’s earlier approach in Suresh Koushal v. Naz Foundation, in which it had in effect re-criminalised same-sex intimacy.
Our report Breaking the Silence: Criminalisation of Lesbians and Bisexual Women and its Impacts shows that is illegal to be a lesbian in almost a quarter of all the countries in the world. This is the first ever global in-depth analysis of how laws against homosexuality specifically impact lesbians and bisexual women.
Ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2015 in Malta, the Human Dignity Trust in association with the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, prepared an expansive report on the extent and the consequences of the criminalisation of homosexuality within the Commonwealth.
This note examines how, in addition to the criminalisation of homosexuality being an indicator of poor governance and poor human rights in and of itself, countries that criminalise tend to rank poorly on other indicators too.
This briefing note covers three points of connection between religion and the criminalisation of homosexuality. First, it looks at the origins of today’s laws that criminalise consensual same-sex intimacy. Secondly, it examines whether, as a matter of international human rights law, adherence to religious doctrine has any bearing on whether the state is permitted to criminalise homosexuality. The third part of this note then sets out statements from religious leaders confirming that the state has no business criminalising homosexuality.
LGBT people are a vulnerable group at the best of times. This note explores how during times of turmoil (conflict, natural disasters or widespread violence) this vulnerability is exacerbated, often leaving LGBT people to experience a level of violence and exclusion beyond that borne by others.