Current Affairs

UK government welcomes plans to repeal Seychelles anti-gay law

Nick Duffy March 3, 2016
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The UK government has welcomed news from the Seychelles that the government will push forward with plans to repeal the country’s anti-gay law.

The small country is a popular destination for European tourists – with 20 percent of the Seychelles workforce employed in the industry.

However, it has remained a “no-go” area for LGBT tourists, as Section 151 of the country’s colonial-era Penal Code states that a man who has sex with a man “against the order of nature” can be jailed for up to fourteen years.

This week, the Seychelles government renewed a push to scrap the law – citing pressure from the UK government and international community.

A spokesperson for the UK government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office told PinkNews: “The British Government believes that human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people.

“We welcome the announcement made by President James Michel, in his recent State of the Nation Address, that the law criminalising consensual same-sex relations (between men) would be repealed.

“We have been further encouraged by the speed with which the Cabinet of Ministers approved the necessary legislative amendment and we are hopeful that it will be given similar support in its progress through the National Assembly.

“The promotion of equal rights for all citizens of the Seychelles is an issue on which the British High Commission in Victoria has regularly engaged with the Government of Seychelles in recent years.

“The strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which all citizens are able to live their lives free from discrimination.”

A same-sex wedding was held inside the British High Commission in the Seychelles last year – as a man with dual British-Seychelles citizenship tied the knot with his British partner under the UK’s same-sex marriage legislation.

Related topics: Africa, Gay, LGBT, Sexuality, Seychelles, Seychelles

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