The Supreme Court found that a law criminalising consensual sexual conduct between adults in private, including same-sex intimacy, violates the constitutional rights to dignity, privacy, equality before the law, and non-discrimination on grounds of sex, and cannot be justified on the basis of ‘public morality’. The Court also found that international treaty obligations must inform the interpretation of the Constitutional rights. As a result, the law was declared void and struck out to the extent that it captures consensual sexual conduct between adults in private. The court awarded costs to the Claimant.
This note contains a summary of the parts of the recently issued Sri Lankan Report on Public Representations on Constitutional Reform that recommend the recognition and implementation of the rights of LGBT people. It considers the implications of this Report for the decriminalisation of same-sex relationships in the country and wider protections against persecution of and discrimination against LGBT people.
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.
The Botswanan LGBT rights organisation, LEGABIBO, had their right to freedom of association upheld at the Court of Appeal following their High Court victory in November 2014. The Court of Appeal found that all persons, whatever their sexual orientation, enjoy an equal right to form associations, with lawful objectives for the protection and advancements of their interests. The refusal of the Minister to allow the registration of LEGAbibo was unconstitutional.
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.