Wednesday, June 26, 2019 09:51:34 AM

Sri Lanka Should Take Up the Challenge on LGBT Rights

By Boris Dittrich - Wed Sep 12, 3:21 am

Photo courtesy Hindustan Times

Editor’s Note: On September 6, in a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court decriminalised same-sex relations, through the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Chief justice Misra described Section 377 as “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.” Sri Lanka’s own Penal Code criminalises same-sex relations, through Section 365 and 365a of the Penal Code, which is based on India’s iteration. Groundviews has noted the continued stigmatisation that members of the LGBTIQ community face through militarisation, surveillance, harassment and violence – including technology-based violence.

While there has been incremental progress, such as the gender recognition certificate allowing transgender persons to change their National Identity Cards and documentation, Sections 365 and 365a remain in effect, and LGBTIQ community members continue to struggle for acceptance. This short op-ed written exclusively for Groundviews from the Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch highlights the continued rights abuses impacting the community, which the platform has extensively covered over the years. 

The Indian Supreme Court’s landmark ruling sweeping a colonial-era law that criminalised same-sex sexual behavior into the dustbin of Indian history has made worldwide headlines….

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