Sri Lanka Supreme Court Clears way to Decriminalize Homosexuality

LGBTQ+ campaigners in Sri Lanka have finally made substantial headway in their struggle for equal rights after years of agitation. The country’s Supreme Court has approved a law that will decriminalize homosexuality, which is presently punishable by imprisonment and a fine.

Private Member’s Bill Presented in Parliament

An individual member introduced the bill in parliament last month, and it received widespread backing from advocacy groups. The proposal to decriminalise homosexuality in Sri Lanka has been long overdue, with activists advocating for change for years.

Supreme Court Ruling: “Not Unconstitutional”

Following more than a dozen petitions from both sides of the debate, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court determined that the measure attempting to decriminalise homosexuality was not unconstitutional. The news was made by Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, who stated that the court considered the law was in accordance with the country’s constitution.

A Historic Development for LGBTQ+ Rights

The Supreme Court’s judgement, according to Kaveesha Coswatte, an attorney-at-law and advocacy officer for iProbono in Sri Lanka, is a “historic development” that has given hope for meaningful change. While this is an important step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in Sri Lanka, activists will still need to secure the backing of legislators to guarantee that the proposed legislation becomes law.

Unclear Future for the Bill

Neither the administration nor the opposition have stated if they support the bill, leaving the legislation’s future uncertain. Coswatte, on the other hand, is upbeat, claiming that the Supreme Court’s ruling has paved the way for change and represents a watershed moment for Sri Lanka’s LGBTQ+ community.

Sri Lanka Supreme Court Clears way to Decriminalize Homosexuality – FAQs

Q1: Is it guaranteed that the proposed legislation to decriminalize homosexuality will become law?

Ans: No, activists will still have to lobby for support from the 225 parliamentarians to push forward the proposed legislation through parliament, and it is unclear whether the government or the opposition support the bill.

Q2: What has been the reaction of LGBTQ+ campaigners to the Supreme Court’s decision?

Ans: The Supreme Court’s decision has been hailed as a “historic development” by LGBTQ+ campaigners in Sri Lanka, who have been advocating for change for years.

Q3: Was the bill seeking to decriminalize homosexuality declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court?

Ans: No, the Supreme Court ruled that the bill was not unconstitutional after hearing more than a dozen petitions on both sides of the argument.


  • Pritipalit

    Priti Palit, an accomplished edtech writer, boasts a wealth of experience in preparing candidates for multiple government exams. With a passion for education and a keen eye for detail, she has contributed significantly to the field of online learning. Priti's expertise and dedication continue to empower aspiring individuals in their pursuit of success in government examinations.

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