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Sri Lankan Law Forum » Criminal Law Forum » Same sex relationships in Sri Lanka

Same sex relationships in Sri Lanka

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1 Same sex relationships in Sri Lanka on Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:25 pm

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Despite the fact that the 1978-Constitution of Sri Lanka enshrines in its Article 12(2), the non-discrimination clause which stipulates that "No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds", the Penal Code of Sri Lanka criminalises same sex relationships not only between men but also between women, thereby leaving room for the law enforcement officers to arbitrarily arrest and detain lesbian and transgender women who cross-dress on unfounded charges of same sex relations;

According to statistics shared by the Police Department at the National Consultation on Human Rights Issues related to MSM and TG Communities for HIV Prevention in Sri Lanka, on October 15, 2015, many LGBT persons are arrested each year under the below penal provision though no prosecution has followed.

Section 365A of the Penal Code (Amendment) Act, No.22 of 1995 as amended by Act, No.16 of 2006, states under the heading 'Unnatural Offences' that "Any person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any person of, any act of gross indecency with another person, shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both............".

Not every human is born with the same gender identity or sexual orientation but they all are humans and should be entitled to the same rights and freedoms as others. It's quite reasonable to allow consensual adults of any gender identity or sexual orientation to have sexual intercourse with each other in private as such an innocent act means no harm to the society.

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