Could Morocco legalise homosexuality?


could_morocco_legalise_homosexualityMorocco could become the first Arab nation to decriminalise homosexuality, if the government accepts the recommendation of a new Health Ministry study.

The study, commissioned by the ministry and conducted by ALSC association and the UN’s Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), has called for homosexuality be legalised in order to effectively tackle the scourge of HIV.

According to Morocco World News, researchers surveyed 687 men in the cities of Agadir and Marrakech who had engaged in gay sex in the previous six months.

Alarmingly, they found that 56% had not used condoms and that many had sex with multiple partners.

The study concluded that urgent action was needed to provide services to gay men and other men who have sex with men.

Social stigma and the fear of being imprisoned were cited as hampering efforts to reach this community.

The government was urged to decriminalise homosexuality and to embrace and promote human rights for all.

Male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Morocco, with penalties ranging from six months to three years in jail, as well as the imposition of fines.

There has been a recent crackdown on the LGBT community in Morocco, with at least seven arrests and / or convictions related to homosexuality in the last six months.

In addition, four people, including two foreigners, were arrested last week after they staged kiss-in protests against the country’s persecution of LGBT people.

According to Human Rights Watch, Moroccan courts often rely on confessions coerced by the police to convict defendants accused of homosexuality.

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