LGBT rights in East Timor
|LGBT rights in East Timor|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal status||Legal since 1975|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in East Timor (Timor-Leste) may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in East Timor, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.
Timor-Leste is considered a leader on human rights including LGBT rights in Southeast Asia. In 2011, the country signed the "joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity" at the United Nations, condemning violence and discrimination against LGBT people.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1975.
There is no legal protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity. There was a clause against discrimination based on sexual orientation included in the original draft of the Timorese Constitution but it was voted out by 52 out of 88 MPs before the Constitution took effect in 2002.
However, since 2009, bias on the basis of sexual orientation is considered to be an aggravating circumstance in the case of crimes (alongside ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, etc.).
The Roman Catholic Church has a strong influence in the country and was the main opponent to the constitutional clause to protect LGBT people from discrimination. In 2002, when the clause was discussed in Parliament, a prominent Christian politician said there weren't any gay people in Timor-Leste and called homosexuality a "disease". However, in recent years, there has been a significant gay dimension in Timorese society and LGBT people have become more visible and accepted.
In June 2017, Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo said that "discrimination, disrespect and abuse towards people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity does not provide any benefit to our nation."
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||(Since 1975)|
|Equal age of consent||(Since 1975)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment only|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)|
|Hate crime laws include sexual orientation||(Since 2009)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples|
|Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
- State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Archived 19 July 2013 at WebCite
- Timor Leste PM comes out supporting LGBTI rights GayStarNews
- "Over 80 Nations Support Statement at Human Rights Council on LGBT Rights » US Mission Geneva". Geneva.usmission.gov.
- Timor-Leste: Penal Code (approved by Decree-Law No. 19/2009) (WIPO Lex)
- Sexual Orientation Clause Removed From Constitution
- Article 52 of the Penal Code, page 3
- Homosexuality in East Timor
- Ng, Yi Shu. "This tiny Southeast Asian country just held its first pride parade". Mashable. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- "East Timor holds first LGBTQ pride parade". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-05.