Mauritius Decriminalises Homosexuality After Court Ruling

The African island nation of Mauritius has abolished the ban on homosexuality after it was declared unconstitutional by the highest court. The ban dated back to the British colonial era.
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The case was brought before the court by LGBT+ rights activist Abdool Ridwan Firaas Ah Seek and a local LGBT+ organisation. According to Ah Seek, a ban on homosexuality is a violation of his rights because a heterosexual person is not hindered in their life. The court agreed with this argument and declared the ban, section 250 of the Penal Code, unconstitutional. This means that homosexuality is now legalised in the country. 

"Section 250 was not introduced in Mauritius to reflect Mauritian values but was inherited from Great Britain as part of our colonial history," the judges wrote. "Its introduction was not an expression of domestic democratic will but rather a course imposed by British rule on Mauritius and other colonies."

Ah Seek called the ruling "a relief." He said, "It has been a long struggle. From today, I am free as a citizen and human to love whomever I want without fear. Moreover, it also means that the next generations can fully and freely embrace their sexuality without the fear of being arrested. This victory is undoubtedly a significant step towards the full integration of our community into Mauritian society."

The United Nations welcomed the ruling, saying, "The UN in Mauritius welcomes Mauritius' decision to join the growing list of African countries protecting the human rights of everyone, including LGBT+ individuals."

According to the local LGBT+ organisation Collectif Arc-en-Ciel, the ruling is a "historic victory."


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