LGBT rights in Mauritius

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LGBT rights in Mauritius Mauritius
LocationMauritius.png
Same-sex sexual activity legal status Sodomy illegal (no mention of homosexuality in Maurtius' sodomy laws)
Penalty:
Up to 5 years' imprisonment
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protected
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
Unknown
Adoption Unknown

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights in Mauritius are legally complicated and vague in the republic. Sodomy is banned by the laws of the country, but they are silent on the topics of homosexuality and gender identity themselves. The nation was one of the 66 signatories of support for the UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although same-sex relationships are not recognised, LGBT people are protected from any kind of discrimination, with the constitution guaranteeing the right of individuals to a private life.[1]

Laws about same-sex sexual activity

According to an unofficial translation of Section 250 of the Mauritius Criminal Code of 1838, "Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy ... shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years."[2]

Discrimination

The Equal Opportunities Act 2008 prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, education, in access to goods and services and other areas, with "sexual orientation" being defined to mean "homosexuality (including lesbianism), bisexuality or heterosexuality".[3]

Adoption of children

According to a 2006 report, adoptive parents may be either single or married. LGBT persons are not specifically disqualified.[4]

According to a website of the French government, single and married people are eligible to adopt children. The website does not say whether LGBT people are disqualified.[5]

LGBT rights organisations

In Mauritius, there are four organisations for the LGBT community: Collectif Arc en Ciel, Young Queer Alliance, Association VISA G and Pils.[6]

Founded in 2005, Collectif Arc en Ciel ("Rainbow Collective") is the pioneer and main organisation for the LGBT community in Mauritius. The group organised the first Gay Pride walk in Mauritius and has been doing so for the last ten years gathering more than 1200 participants in 2016. The organisation fights homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation through numerous campaigns and also provides support to the young LGBTQI community.[6]

Founded on 1 September 2014, Young Queer Alliance is an organisation for the young-LGBTQI community in Mauritius.[7] The Young Queer Alliance engages in support, advocacy and fights homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation.[6]

Founded in 1996, Pils is a centre for individuals with HIV/AIDS in the country, and also a place for the prevention and education of people living with HIV/AIDS.[6]

Other LGBT initiatives

Some initiatives indicates an increasing acceptance towards the LGBT community in Mauritius:

Founded in 2014, Moments.mu became the first travel agency in Mauritius to dedicate their services to the LGBT community.

Public opinion

A 2016 poll found that 49% of Mauritians would like or not mind having an LGBT neighbor.[8]

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (Up to 5 years imprisonment)
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes (Since 2008)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (Since 2008)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes (Since 2008)
Same-sex marriages No (Under consideration) [9]
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Homosexuals allowed to serve openly in the military (No army)
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Under consideration)[10]
MSMs allowed to donate blood Yes

See also

References

  1. ^ [1] Archived 6 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults", International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, authored by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and Jingshu Zhu, May 2013, page 51 Archived 19 July 2013 at WebCite
  3. ^ "Equal Opportunities Act 2008, International Labor Organization" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Intercountry Adoption: Mauritius", Passports USA, April 2006
  5. ^ "Fiches pays Adoption: Maurice". France Diplomatie : : Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères. 
  6. ^ a b c d "LGBT Mauritius". Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Young Queer Alliance - NGO for young LGBT in Mauritius". www.youngqueeralliance.com. 
  8. ^ "What are the best and worst countries to be gay in Africa?". 1 March 2016. 
  9. ^ http://www.youngqueeralliance.com/en/article/51/afrobarometer-report-shows-that-homophobia-is-not-african-even-if-homophobia-remains-widespread-in-africa/
  10. ^ "Harley Street Fertility Centre Mauritius". 

External links

  • Gay Mauritius News & Reports (GlobalGayz)
  • LGBT Mauritius


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