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Mauritius repeals colonial-era anti-same-sex law

Mauritius repeals colonial-era anti-same-sex law
In this Sunday, June 12, 2016 photo, a section of the Key West Sea-to-Sea Rainbow ...   -  
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Bob O'Neal/AP


Mauritius has overturned a longstanding colonial-era law criminalizing same-sex relationships.

The country's Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling on Wednesday, declared Section 250 of the Mauritian Criminal Code, which dates back to 1898, unconstitutional.

This abolished law had previously threatened individuals with up to five years in prison for engaging in same-sex relations.

The Supreme Court's decision emphasized that this law did not align with the values of indigenous Mauritians but was a vestige of the nation's colonial history from Britain.

The journey toward this historic repeal began in October 2019 when four young Mauritians, members of the rights group Young Queer Alliance, filed a legal challenge against the anti-homosexuality law, citing its violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

This decision has received praise from the United Nations and numerous human rights organizations. UNAids, in a statement, welcomed Mauritius into the expanding list of African countries that are embracing human rights, including those of LGBTQI+ individuals.

Notably, Mauritius now joins other African nations such as Angola, Botswana, Seychelles, and Mozambique in either decriminalizing or legalizing same-sex relationships.

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