In a groundbreaking development for LGBTQ+ rights, the Supreme Court of Mauritius has shattered a 185-year-old legal barrier. On October 4, 2023, the court declared unconstitutional a law that had criminalized same-sex intimacy between men. This historic ruling represents a significant leap forward for human rights and LGBTQ+ inclusion in Mauritius and serves as an inspiring example for similar struggles around the world
What Happened in Mauritius?
On October 4, 2023, Mauritius’ Supreme Court decided that a law from 1838, which said that men couldn’t be intimate with each other, is not right anymore. This is a big deal because it’s a win for human rights, and it helps LGBTQ+ people in Mauritius.
Why Is This Important?
The judges in Mauritius said that nobody should be discriminated against because of who they love. They also said that the government should not interfere in people’s private lives unless they have a really good reason. This decision is a major step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in Mauritius and breaks a long history of stigma.
The Role of the Human Dignity Trust
The Human Dignity Trust is an organization that helps LGBTQ+ people around the world. They supported Abdool Ridwan (Ryan) Firaas Ah Seek in his case against this old law. This law made it a crime for men to be intimate with each other, and they could go to jail for up to five years. The judges also said that this law came from the time when Mauritius was ruled by the British, and it didn’t really reflect what people in Mauritius wanted.
This victory is not just about Mauritius. It shows that old laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people can change. Mauritius is now on the list of African countries that have gotten rid of these old laws. However, there are still 65 places around the world where LGBTQ+ people can be punished for being who they are.
Mauritius’ Supreme Court decision is a big step towards equality. It’s a win for human rights, and it’s an example for other countries to follow. Let’s celebrate this progress and keep working for a world where everyone can love freely and without fear.