Criminalising Homosexuality: Irreconcilable with Good Governance – Full Report

This comprehensive briefing highlights how crucial decriminalisation is for states to prosper and uphold their core democratic principles. It demonstrates the variety of lenses through which criminalisation's damaging effects can be seen, from exacerbating HIV to harming businesses and undermining the rule of law.

A series of ground-breaking briefing notes were produced by the Human Dignity Trust in the second half of 2015. These notes aim to illustrate the link between the criminalisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and various aspects of good governance. They also offer information and guidance to governments, the international community, civil society and activists on how to bring about the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual activity across the globe. This research draws on our experience working with activists in criminalising countries and our expertise in international human rights law. They were produced in consultation with leading academics in each of the areas addressed.

The criminalisation of same-sex sexual activity conflicts with numerous aims and priorities of governments around the world, including, but not limited to, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, public health, and economic development. When considered from any of these perspectives, the criminalisation of same-sex sexual activity is a hindrance to a country’s progress. Different criminalising governments will be more or less sensitive to each of these priorities. The notes in this series are each designed to function as a stand-alone document, equipping stakeholders with the information to make a compelling case to decriminalise same-sex activity.

The topics covered in this series of briefing notes are:

  1. Criminalising Homosexuality and Democratic Values
  2. Criminalising Homosexuality and the Rule of Law
  3. Criminalising Homosexuality and International Business: the Economic and Business Cases for Decriminalisation
  4. Criminalising Homosexuality and Public Health: Adverse Impacts on the Prevention and Treatment of HIV and AIDS
  5. Criminalising Homosexuality and International Human Rights Law
  6. Criminalising Homosexuality and Working through International Organisations
  7. Criminalising Homosexuality and Understanding the Right to Manifest Religion
  8. Criminalising Homosexuality and LGBT Rights in Times of Conflict, Violence and Natural Disasters

This is the report in full, covering all of the above topics.

Download the report