LGBT rights in Solomon Islands

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LocationSolomonIslands.png
StatusIllegal[1]
PenaltyUp to 14 years imprisonment (not enforced)
Gender identityNo
MilitaryNo armed forces
Discrimination protectionsNo
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo
AdoptionNo

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Solomon Islands face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Male same-sex sexual activity is illegal, punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, but the law is not enforced.

Legality of same-sex activity[edit]

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 and 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 sexual activity 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]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Solomon Islands does not recognise same-sex unions in any form.

In 2017, in a speech to a local church group, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare stated his opposition to same-sex marriage.

In June 2018, Governor General Frank Kabui, while acknowledging the existence of LGBT people in the Solomon Islands and stating that “It is not wrong to born with gay or lesbian inclination, it is said to be biological and is beyond individual control.", he stated his opposition to same-sex marriage, denying any attempt to change the laws, justifying that by the criminal code that prohibits same-sex sexual activity and by the Bible and Christian religious grounds.[10][11]

Discrimination protections[edit]

Solomon Islands is currently reforming its Constitution. 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), "sexual orientation" was not put as a prohibited ground of discrimination.[12] As of 2019, the constitutional reform is still in the process.

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (For males, not enforced)/Yes (For females)
Equal age of consent No (For males)/Yes (For females)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Hate crime laws include sexual orientation and gender identity 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
Conversion therapy banned No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Archived 19 July 2013 at WebCite
  2. ^ "Where is it illegal to be gay?". BBC News. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  3. ^ https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/160102.pdf
  4. ^ https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/186519.pdf
  5. ^ "2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Solomon Islands", United States Department of State
  6. ^ https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/220442.pdf
  7. ^ "Travel.state.gov - LGBT rights"
  8. ^ Sireheti, Joanna, "Strong Public Opposition to Idea on Legalising Gay and Lesbian Status," Solomon Times Online, 23 December 2008
  9. ^ "Homosexuality to remain illegal in Samoa, Solomon Islands and PNG", Radio Australia, 21 October 2011
  10. ^ http://www.sibconline.com.sb/same-sex-marriage-cannot-populate-the-world-governor-general/
  11. ^ http://www.solomonstarnews.com/index.php/news/national/item/20477-same-sex-marriage-coming
  12. ^ Verheyen, Vincent Mia E. "Sexual orientation [LGBTQ+] and the draft of the new Solomon Islands Constitution". Retrieved 3 March 2016.