LGBT rights in the Solomon Islands

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LGBT rights in Solomon Islands
Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status Illegal[1]
Up to 14 years
Gender identity/expression  –

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Solomon Islands face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity has been illegal since its criminalisation in the 1880s.[1][2]

Engaging in anal sex acts with another person is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment under Section 160, Chapter 26 of the Penal Code of Solomon Islands. Attempting anal intercourse can be punished by up to seven years imprisonment. Acts of "gross indecency", even in private, can be punished with five years imprisonment.[1] However, the United States Department of State reported that there were no reports in 2010,[3] 2011,[4] 2012,[5] or 2013[6] of arrests or prosecutions directed at LGBT people.

It is advisable that gay and lesbian citizens - travellers avoid public displays of affection, which could be categorized by the Solomon Islands penal code as an act of gross indecency, a felony, liable to imprisonment for five years.[7]

The Law Reform Commission proposed legalising gay and lesbian status in December 2008, but the move was strongly opposed.[8] The government told the United Nations in 2011 that it had no intention of decriminalising homosexuality.[9]

Solomon Islands is currently reforming its Constitution.[when?] In the first draft of 2009 of the new Constitution of the proposed Federal Democratic Republic of Solomon Islands, "sexual orientation" was explicitly and newly included as a prohibited ground of discrimination. In the 2011 draft and the 2013 draft, there was no mention of "sexual orientation". In the latest second 2014 draft (published on 6 May 2014), it became explicitly stated that "sexual orientation" is not a prohibited ground of discrimination. This Constitutional allowance of discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation" is contradicting international human rights.[10]

There is mounting concern about the Constitution allowing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[11] The executive director of a LGBT rights organization has mentioned that they consider to involve a special expert of the United Nations to intervene in pending legislation.[12] If one reads the latest draft of the upcoming Constitution literally, it even allows for the advocacy of hatred (and incitement to cause harm) on the basis of sexual orientation. That newly drafted Constitution is expected to factually replace the existing Constitution by late 2016.[10]

See also[edit]