LGBT rights in Kiribati

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LGBT rights in Kiribati
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Male illegal
Female legal[1]
Up to 14 years in prison (not enforced)
Discrimination protections Yes (in employment only)
Family rights
Recognition of
Adoption No

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT) persons may face social disadvantages in Kiribati. Male homosexuality is illegal in Kiribati. Female homosexuality is legal, but lesbians may face violence and discrimination. However, employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited.

In November 2016, Kiribati voted against a plan to get rid of the UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations General Assembly. The push to get rid of the UN expert failed 84-77. Kiribati along with Sri Lanka were the only two countries, where homosexuality is still criminalised, who voted against the proposal.[2]

Laws regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Sections 153, 154, and 155 of the Penal Code outlaw anal intercourse regardless of sex.[3] There are no reports of prosecutions directed against LGBT people under these laws.[1]

Unnatural Offences 153. Any person who- (a) commits buggery with another person or with an animal; or (b) permits a male person to commit buggery with him or her, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

Attempts to commit unnatural offences and indecent assaults 154. Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences it specified in the last preceding section, or who is guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or any indecent assault upon any male person shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

Indecent practices between males 155. Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

Decriminalisation efforts[edit]

In August 2015, as part of the Universal Periodic Review, Kiribati's human rights record was scrutinised by other countries. France, Slovenia and Chile urged Kiribati to repeal its laws against homosexuality. The Kiribati delegation made no response to these recommendations.[4]

Discrimination protections[edit]

Discrimination against employees and prospective employees based on "sexual orientation" is prohibited under Article 107(2)(b) of the Employment and Industrial Relations Code 2015.[5]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal No For male (Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment; not enforced) / Yes For female
Equal age of consent No For male / Yes For female
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes (Since 2015)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Has no military
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No