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.
This note investigates the role that international organisations have played in bringing about the decriminalisation of homosexuality in domestic legal systems. It looks at the historic, current and potential roles of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Union,and the Commonwealth.
This note explores how laws that criminalise homosexuality contravene international law. Criminalisation infringes upon the rights to privacy, non-discrimination and dignity, and may amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. These rights are included in various international and regional treaties, through which states have taken on binding obligations to uphold these rights for everyone within their jurisdiction.
The criminalisation of same-sex intimacy between consenting adults intersects with HIV/AIDS in multiple ways. This note addresses two broad concerns. Firstly it considers the evidence on the link between the criminalisation of homosexuality and the prevalence and incidence of HIV. Secondly, this note addresses the human rights concerns associated with HIV and criminalisation.
The note expires how international business can play a crucial role in bringing about the decriminalisation of homosexuality. As key players and stakeholders in civil society, businesses have the means to influence the debate on LGBT rights at home and abroad. It also investigates the economic case for decriminalisation, finding mounting evidence that criminalising homosexuality reduces productivity and economic growth.