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LGBT rights in Seychelles

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LGBT rights in Seychelles
LocationSeychelles.png
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 2016
Gender identity/expression Unknown
Military service Unknown
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protections in employment (see below)
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
No
Adoption Married couples or single persons may adopt

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Seychelles face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal. Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is banned in the Seychelles, making it one of the only few African countries to have such protections for LGBT people.

Legality of same-sex sexual activity

Until June 2016, Section 151 of the Penal Code banned male same-sex intercourse with up to fourteen years imprisonment.[1] Female same-sex sexual acts were not covered by Section 151 or any other criminal law of the Seychelles.[2]

In October 2011, the Government agreed to decriminalize same-sex sexual acts "pretty soon, as the Government and civil society want so."[3] On 29 February 2016, the Government decided to introduce a bill to this effect. The National Assembly was expected to consider the measure within a few months. Attorney General Ronny Govinden ruled out a referendum on the issue.[4][5] The bill was approved on 18 May 2016, in a 14-0 vote.[6] It was signed into law by President James Michel on 1 June, and took effect on 7 June 2016.[7][8]

Recognition of same-sex relationships

The Seychelles does not recognize same-sex marriage or same-sex civil unions.[9]

In June 2015, two men, a British national and a Seychellois national, were married at the British High Commission by Lindsay Skoll, the British High Commissioner to the Seychelles.[10]

Adoption and parenting

A married couple or a single person may adopt a child.[11]

Discrimination protections

The Employment Act, 1995 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This prohibition was added to the Act in 2006.[2] The Act provides as follows:[12]

Section 2. In this act –

* * * *

"harassment" means any such unfriendly act, speech or gesture of one person towards another person that is based on the other person's ... sexual orientation ... as would adversely affect the other person's dignity or make that person feel threatened, humiliated or embarrassed;

Section 46A. (1) Where an employer makes an employment decision against a worker on the grounds of the worker's ... sexual orientation ..., the worker may make a complaint to the Chief Executive stating all the relevant particulars.

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 2016)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2016)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2006)
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 Emblem-question.svg
Right to change legal gender Emblem-question.svg
Access to IVF for lesbians Emblem-question.svg
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples Emblem-question.svg
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also

References