Praise Decriminalization of Homosexuality

Cecil C Humphreys School of Law University of Memphis

Target: Baron Waqa, President of Nauru

Goal: Applaud a number of human rights improvements recently implemented in Nauru.

The island nation of Nauru recently implemented a number of updated human rights laws, which included decriminalizing both homosexuality and suicide. These significant strides forward will vastly improve life for those on the island, including a number of refugees. Sign the petition and commend Nauru on these positive steps.

Formerly, Nauru operated under the Criminal Code of Queensland, an 1899 law that has become incredibly outdated. The recently-implemented laws reverse many of the old criminal code’s laws, decriminalizing homosexuality and suicide and stating that the latter “is considered more a mental health issue rather than a criminal law issue,” the Guardian reports. The new laws also ban child slavery and child marriages, introduce stalking as a criminal offense, and outlaw marital rape.

Nauru’s new laws provide a much-needed update to a legal system that was out of touch with modern sensibilities and human rights. The adoption of these laws is a cause for celebration in both Nauru and beyond, as the laws will significantly impact the lives of the refugees taking shelter on the island. Sign the petition to congratulate Nauru on its new laws.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Waqa,

No one should have to live in fear of criminal prosecution for being gay. No one should wake up from a failed suicide attempt to find that he or she is now being charged with a crime as well. Thankfully, Nauru’s new laws will decriminalize both homosexuality and suicide, and I would like to commend you on adopting these updated laws more in keeping with modern sensibilities and human rights standards.

In addition to the decriminalization of homosexuality and suicide, the laws also ban child marriages, child slavery, and marital rape. While all of these things seem to be almost universally agreed-upon as horrible, inhumane acts, many countries still lack adequate protections against them. Nauru has joined those nations who have resolved to protect their citizens from human rights violations, rather than those who sit by and allow cruelty to happen.

The protections are doubly important and have far-reaching ramifications given the number of refugees currently seeking protection in Nauru. The new laws will positively affect many lives, both in Nauru and beyond, and I would like to congratulate you once again for ensuring that Nauru is able to provide both citizens and strangers with protection and security.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law the University of Memphis

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