Ever step counts! Congratulations to the tiny island of Nauru for decriminalising homosexuality.
The nation, located in the Pacific Ocean, north-east of Australia, last week announced that it had updated its laws to reflect “progressive leadership”.
Among the changes to the 100-year-old criminal code is the decriminalising of homosexuality and suicide and the abolishing of the death penalty.
Under the previous law, being gay could have been punished with up to 14 years in prison.
The government said in a statement that removing “homosexuality as an offence” aimed to comply with the country’s “international obligations under various international treaties”.
The Republic of Nauru, with a population of fewer than 10,000 people, is the third smallest state in the world, behind only Vatican City and Monaco.
Edmund Settle, policy adviser for the United Nations Development Program in Bangkok, told News.com.au that Nauru was setting “a positive example in the Pacific region”.
“The government of Nauru has demonstrated leadership in protecting sexual and gender minorities from violence and discrimination,” he said.
Based on the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s most recent report, the number of countries that criminalise homosexuality now drops from 74 to 73. (Lawmakers in Seychelles also decriminalised homosexuality earlier this month.)