The Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS) regroups associations that campaign for a number of issues among which are human and religious rights. As a platform CEPS respects the divergent views and opinions of its members.
CEPS has been following the various debates that have taken place in relation to the proposed amendment of Penal Code 151 (a) & (c). CEPS recognizes that the misinterpretation of this law is causing confusion both at community and national level.
CEPS in consultation with its members acknowledges that the fundamental human rights of each individual has to be safeguarded and that all have been endowed with free will and the prerogative to make choices in life. People also have a right to privacy.
After much research and clarification CEPS recognizes the following:
- Sub section (a) & (C) of this law, focuses on criminalizing the act of sodomy. The Government is seeking to decriminalize the action.
- This law is not about homosexuality nor does it focus on homosexuals as a group in society.
- This law affects all males who practice sodomy – heterosexual and homosexual.
- The ‘giver’ has to be male so this law does not affect lesbians.
• This law discriminates against all males who practice sodomy, as it is the male who has ‘carnal knowledge’ of his male or female partner.
• The amendment is removing two provisions one that says that engaging in this (‘the giver’) and the person who allows this to happen to him OR her (‘the receiver’) – regardless that they are consenting- will be punished by 14 year imprisonment.
All persons are created as unique individuals, with characteristics and personalities shaped by both nature and nurture. A portion of our population has had, down the ages, a sexual orientation different to the majority. We have to promote respect for and acceptance of these differences as they are an inescapable part of our reality. How individuals reconcile themselves with or cope with this condition in their daily lives depends on the strength of their belief, faith or set of values and priorities. It is not a matter of public scrutiny, condemnation or criminal intervention. We need to relate to and understand people in a holistic manner; focusing not only on one aspect of their private life but tapping into their virtues, strengths and capacities and appreciative of their achievements.
CEPS is therefore urging concerned partners and stakeholders to join us in educating the public on this law.