Mauritius Begins to Correct a Historic Wrong Towards LGBTQI+ People

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10/28/2023

In response to lawsuits brought by LGBTQI+ activists, the Mauritius Supreme Court has issued two landmark judgments striking down the criminalisation of consensual sex between adult men as unconstitutional. Its reasoning turned upside down the argument used by anti-rights forces to attack LGBTQI+ activists in many African countries: it acknowledged that criminalisation is the foreign import rather than gay sex, and a relic of colonialism it’s high time to shake off. A damning colonial legacy As in so many other Commonwealth states, criminalisation of consensual sex between men in Mauritius dated back to the British colonial era. Former colonies inherited criminal provisions targeted at LGBTQI+ people and typically retained them on independence and through subsequent criminal law reforms long after the UK had changed its laws.

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