Gay Pride

Author - Prajwol Kumar Parida

Student - SOA National Institute of Law, Bhubaneswar

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Throughout the world, individuals continue to face severe human rights abuses due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, in 2014 there were 80 states where consensual same-sex conduct between adult males was still a criminal offence, attracting significant prison sentences. In 5 of these states, the death penalty can be imposed for these ‘offences’. Rather than repealing these laws, many states are endeavoring to further criminalize homosexuality, including in recent years, Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, Liberia and Nigeria. Furthermore, the extent in which these laws are being actively enforced appears to be increasing. For example, in December 2012, a Cameroon appellate court upheld a three-year jail sentence imposed on Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, for ‘homosexuality’ on the basis of a text message he sent to an another man, and in 2010, in Malawi, a judge imposed the maximum sentence of fourteen years of imprisonment with hard labor on a gay couple convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts, after they held an engagement ceremony. In light of the enthusiastic enforcement of laws criminalizing homosexual conduct in many parts of the world, it is timely to ask, what the UN is doing to protect sexual minorities from discrimination and persecution.
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