LGBT rights in Mauritius

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LGBT rights in Mauritius Mauritius
LocationMauritius.png
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Sodomy illegal
Penalty:
Up to 5 years imprisonment
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protected (employment only)
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
Unknown
Adoption Unknown

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights in Mauritius are legally complicated and vague in the republic. Although the law is silent on the topic of homosexuality and gender identity itself, sodomy is illegal and banned by the laws of the county. 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 recognized, LGBT people are protected from any kind of discrimination with the constitution guaranteeing the right of individuals to private life.[1]

Laws about same-sex sexual activity[edit]

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[edit]

The Equal Opportunities Act 2008 prohibits employers from discriminating against persons based on their sexual orientation, with "sexual orientation" being defined to mean "homosexuality (including lesbianism), bisexuality or heterosexuality".[3]

Adoption of children[edit]

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[edit]

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 organization for the LGBT community in Mauritius. The group organized 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 organization 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[edit]

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.

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Anal sex remains illegal for all punishable with 5 years imprisonment)
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes (Since 2008)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (Since 2012)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No (Proposed)[8]
Recognition of same-sex couples No (Proposed)
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No (Proposed)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No (Proposed)
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)[9]
MSMs allowed to donate blood Yes

See also[edit]

References[edit]