Mauritius lies to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It is a populous island of just under 1.3 million people. In recent decades it has become a popular tourist destination for South African and European holiday makers.
Homosexuality is still illegal in Mauritius. Its laws are still informed by old colonial sodomy laws. Here is a summary of the LGBT situation on the island.
Law that Criminalises Homosexuality
Cap 195 – 29 December 1838
Amended 25/01; 30/01; 5/02; 12/03; 22/03; 30/03; 34/05; 24/06
Section 249 criminalises rape, attempt upon chastity and illegal sexual intercourse. Any person who is guilty of the crime of rape, shall be liable to penal servitude for a term which shall not be less than 5 years. And any person, who commits an indecent act [‘attentat à la pudeur’] by force or without consent upon a person of either sex, shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.
Section 250 criminalises sodomy and bestiality, finding that any person who is guilty of the crime shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.
Practical Consequences of the law
Popular tourist destination for western holiday makers- cultural clashes.
Constitutional Clause on Equality or Right to Privacy
Constitution of Mauritius 1968
Article 3 guarantees fundamental freedoms without discrimination by reason of race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest. Rights protected include the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law; freedom of conscience, expression, of assembly and association; and freedom to establish schools; protection for the privacy of the home and other property
Article 9 reaffirms the right to the privacy of the home and right not to be searched on his premises, subject to interests of defence, public safety, public order and public morality.
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