LGBT Rights in Mauritius: Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2

This house believes that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights in Mauritius are legally complicated and vague.

Although the law is silent on the topic of homosexuality and gender identity itself, sodomy is illegal and banned by the laws of the county. The nation was one of the 66 signatories of support for the UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, although same-sex relationships are not recognised, LGBT people are protected from any kind of discrimination with the constitution guaranteeing the right of individuals to private life.

Laws about same-sex sexual activity

According to the Section 250 of the Mauritius Criminal Code of 1838, “Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy […] shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.”

The age of consent in Mauritius is 16. Article 249 ‘Rape, attempt upon chastity and illegal sexual intercourse’ of the Penal Code: (…) Any person who has sexual intercourse with a female ‘under the age of sixteen (16), even with consent, shall be liable to penal servitude not exceeding ten (10) years.

Discrimination

The Equal Opportunities Act 2008 prohibits employers from discriminating against persons based on their sexual orientation, with “sexual orientation” being defined to mean “homosexuality (including lesbianism), bisexuality or heterosexuality”.

Adoption of children

According to a 2006 report, adoptive parents may be either single or married. LGBT persons are not specifically disqualified.

According to a website of the French government, single and married people are eligible to adopt children. The website does not say whether LGBT people are disqualified.

LGBT rights organisations

In Mauritius, there are several organisations for the LGBT community.

Founded in 2005, Collectif Arc en Ciel (“Rainbow Collective”) is the primary organisation for the LGBT community in Mauritius. The party fights homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Founded in 1996, Pils is a centre for individuals with HIV/AIDS in the country, and also a place for the prevention and education of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Founded in 2014, the Young Queer Alliance is a youth-led organisation mainly for support, empowerment and protect the young LGBTQIA in Mauritius.

Founded in 2011, Association VISA G is an organisation mainly for Transgender people in Mauritius. VISA G is involved in legal support and empowerment of Trans.

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes However anal sex is illegal punishable with 5 years imprisonment.
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes Since 2008
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Emblem-question.svg
Right to change legal gender Emblem-question.svg
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

Invitation 

YUVA invites you to attend the debate on this whole issue of LGBT Rights in Mauritius as the topic for the Session 2 of Mauritius Youth Parliament (MYP).

Facebook cover: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2
Facebook cover: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2
Poster: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2
Poster: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2

Note to participants

  • You can use the language you are most comfortable in;
  • Disagreements are bound to occur during the debate, but make sure you respect others’ point of view;
  • The session will be photographed and photographs will be posted on public online forums; and
  • You can send your questions on this topic by commenting below in this post.
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Published by

YUVA

Registered in February 2015, YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals, and today it has mobilised thousands of young people with a simple aim of creating a better future for children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.

3 thoughts on “LGBT Rights in Mauritius: Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2

  1. Hello everyone,

    Just to open a topic on Civil Union acceptance in Mauritius / Recognition of same-sex couples.

    Scenario No. 1:
    If ever one of the LGBT couple gets sick and need approval for a surgery, can his/her partner sign the paper of the hospital/clinic to approve for the surgery, as he/she is not of the family? I believe his/her signature would not be valid in this case. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    Thus, would a Civil Union partner’s signature be recognized and be allowed to sign for the approval of surgery (assuming the partner needing surgery has no other family).

    With a Civil Union/law, a life could have been saved?

    Scenario No. 2:
    Loans: A married couple (husband & wife) can take joint loans (e.g. home loans) with banks, financing institutions, etc. What about LGBT couples? Joint loans are not applicable to them in view of lack of legal recognition.

    It is to be noted that LGBTs also contribute to the economy of their/this country. They pay taxes, donate blood, vote at the General Election, etc. Why are they deprived of such rights?

    We are in year 2015 where democracy prevails.

    What could be done for the above 2 scenarios?

    Hope that you could debate on the above in your Session 2.

    Thanking you in advanced.

    Like

    1. Considering that the civil marriage act still offers different rights for men and women, I would say a long long time before it becomes available to 2 consenting adults irrespective of their gender.

      Like

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