Main | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Palau Decriminalizes Homosexuality

The tiny island nation of Palau has decriminalized homosexuality.
The new criminal laws came into force at the end of July but were only announced today. At Palau’s last Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, France, Norway and Spain all made recommendations that the country repeal its anti-gay laws, which were accepted by the government. This new criminal code was passed by the Palau National Congress and signed into law by President Tommy Remengesau Jr in April. Gay sex used to be punishable by up to ten years in jail but lesbian sex was legal.
Palau comprises over 250 islands southeast of the Philippines, has a population of 21,000, and is affiliated with the United States under the Compact Of Free Association. That deal grants the US access to the waters around the islands, which are protected by the Coast Guard.

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