On 11 December 2013 the Supreme Court of India declared Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises same-sex activity between men, as constitutionally valid, setting aside a 2009 judgment of the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court held that Section 377 is not unconstitutional while stating that it would be open for the Parliament to consider scrapping the law.
On 7 January 2014, Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck signed his assent to the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013 (SSMPA). This briefing note shows how several elements of this legislation contravene Nigeria’s Constitution as well as its binding international obligations and also how such laws hinder the effectiveness of strategies and measures designed to contain the HIV epidemic.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Russia’s application of the Ryazan region anti ‘homosexual propaganda’ law against LGBT rights activist Irina Fedotova to be in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the grounds of freedom of expression and discrimination.
The ICJ intervened on behalf of the claimant in Genderdoc-M v Republic of Moldova, a case concerning permission to stage a demonstration in support of laws protecting sexual minorities. The ICJ gave an authoritative opinion on the validity of limitation provisions in limiting the rights of LGBT persons, stating that ‘the protection of morals, commonly referred to as public morality, is not and can never be an objective and reasonable justification under Article 14 [ECHR, the right to equality]...Public morality cannot serve to justify a distinction in treatment under the prohibition on discrimination.’
The European Court of Human Rights found that by prohibiting a demonstration promoting the interests of the LGBT community, Moldova had violated its obligations under Articles 11 (freedom of assembly or association), 13 (right to an effective remedy), and 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Human Dignity Trust’s submission on the Draft Commonwealth Charter. The opinion concludes that in failing to make reference to sexual orientation, the draft Charter does not explicitly reflect international human rights standards. The absence of any privacy rights will further undermine efforts to address discriminatory so-called “anti-sodomy” laws.