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SRI LANKA

Male to Male relationships: Not Legal
Punishments for male to male relationships: Imprisonment of less than 10 years
Female to Female Relationships: Not Legal
Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

Your Views

Are you LGBTI? We want to hear from you! Help us inform other users of the site with your views on this country. Below is a random question about this country. If it is relevant to you please answer it.

Are you married to your same-sex partner in SRI LANKA?

The majority of people visiting this site have said No

Yes, I married here (0 %) Yes, I was married in another country (0 %) No, but we have a civil partnership (25%) No (75%)

The SRI LANKA country survey is populated by LGBTI groups who have acted as liaisons with ILGA to identify issues affecting the LGBTI community.

Organizations were asked to discuss 4 broad subjects: the law, the mood (the social climate), the LGBTI movement as well as what would be, according to them, the most pressing campaign in their country.

Please write to countryreport@ilga.org if you have comments regarding this page.

LAW
What are the laws and policies like for LGBTI people in your country?

Male to Male Relationships

Are male to male sexual relationships legal?
Not Legal

If unclear, how so?
N/A

Was it illegal at any given time in your country's history?
Yes

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

When was the law removed? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
Penal Code of 1883 No 2 (Cap. 19)
Art. 365, 365A

What is the full text of this law?
Article 365

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment that may extend to ten years.” 

Article 365A (as introduced by the “Penal Code (Amendment) Act, No. 22 of 1995”)

“Any person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any person of any act of gross indecency with another person, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with a fine, or with both and where the offence is committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age in respect of any person under sixteen (16) years of age shall be punished worth rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years and not exceeding 20 years and with a fine and shall also be ordered to pay compensation of amount determined by court to the person in respect of whom the offence was committed for the injuries caused to such a person.”

What exactly is prohibited?
365, like 377 of the Indian Penal Code, is understood to prohibit anal intercourse by a man with another man, a woman or an animal. 365A was added in 1995 primarily to include female to female sexual activity under the broader wording of performing an act of "gross indecency".

What are the punishments?
Imprisonment of less than 10 years

Fines or restrictions or penal labour

Is it often applied?
No

How regularly?
As in other parts of South Asia, the criminal provisions are very rarely specifically enforced. Police harassment may result from the fact of criminal law, but does not, with rare exceptions, involve prosecutions under 365 or 365A.

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

What happened then?
N/A

Here you can list the various times this occurred and tell us what happened then
N/A

Imprisonment of less than ten years

Is it often applied?
No

How regularly?
N/A

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

How many years of imprisonment were people sentenced to?
N/A

What happened then?
N/A

Here you can list the various times this occurred and tell us what happened then
N/A

Were there men in jail or punished for same sex activity in the last twelve months in your country?
N/A

Are hate crimes based on sexual orientation considered an aggravating circumstance?
No

Incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation is prohibited?
No

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Female to Female Relationships

Are female to female sexual relations legal?
Not Legal

If unclear, how so?
N/A

Does the law applying for men also apply for women?
No

Was it illegal at any given time in your country's history?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

When was the law removed? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
Section 365A (set out in the section on Male to Male relationships) was enacted in 1995 specifically to cover female to female acts, which were seen as outside the "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" provision in section 365. 365A applies to men and women. 365 only applies to men.

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

What exactly is prohibited?
Acts of gross indecency (taking the wording from the 1885 British law) can cover probably all non-heterosexual and non-penile-vaginal sexual activity.

What are the punishments?
Imprisonment of less than 10 years

Fines or restrictions or penal labour

Is it often applied?
No

How regularly?
N/A

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

What happened then?
Local informants in Sri Lanka can perhaps add to this information - but we think that there has probably never been a conviction under 365A.

Here you can list the various times this occurred and tell us what happened then
N/A

Were there women in jail or punished for same sex activity in the last twelve months?
N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Age of Consent

Are there any age of consent laws for straight men or women?
N/A

Are the age of consent laws different for straight women to those for men?
N/A

What is the age of consent for males?
N/A

What is the age of consent for females?
N/A

Is there a different age of consent law for lesbians and gay men to that for straight men and women?
N/A

Is there a different age of consent law for lesbians to that for gay men?
N/A

What is the age of consent for gay women?
N/A

What is the age of consent for gay men?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

Was the age of consent different between LGBTI/Hetero people in any given time of your country's history?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

When was the law removed? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

Freedom of association, of expression

Does the country have laws protecting freedom of expression?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
There have been LGBTI organizatins in Sri Lanka for a number of years. Prominent have been Companions on a Journey (which does HIV/AIDS work), Women's Support Group, and Equal Ground. Pride events are held annually, but without any public demonstration or parade. A public event involves flying rainbow kites in a park. The law amendment in 1995 was an unexpected reaction to lobbying by local organizations for decriminalization. They pointed out that the existing law discriminated by focusing only on males. The unexpected result was 365A which criminalized acts between women.

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

Does the country have laws protecting freedom of association?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

Are public demonstrations (marches,protest,parades,etc) by sexual minorities permitted?
N/A

Were public authorities usually collaborative at last events?
N/A

Here you can list the various times this occurred and tell us what happened then
N/A

Did recent events see episodes of violence?
N/A

Here you can list the various times this occurred and tell us what happened then
N/A

Links related to this section
N/A

Uploaded documents for this section
N/A

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage

Is there any type of legal recognition for same sex relationships?
No

What types of same sex partnerships are recognized?
No law

If unclear, how so?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Does the country recognize same sex partnerships or marriages when couples immigrate?
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

LGBTI Families/Parenting

Can gay or lesbian individuals adopt children?
N/A

In which areas can individuals adopt?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Can same sex couples adopt children together?
No

In which areas can couples adopt?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Is second parent adoption by same sex couples legal?
N/A

In which areas is second parent adoption legal?
N/A

Legal recognition of parental role of a non biological parent
N/A

In which areas?
N/A

What is the name of the law (chapter,section...) ?
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Lesbians can receive donor insemination services and fertility treatments
N/A

In which areas?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

Anti-discrimination laws

Does the law prohibit discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation?
No

In which areas?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Does the law ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Are trade unions actively supporting LGBTI people in the country?
N/A

Laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in social services
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

Armed forces

Gay or lesbian able to serve in the armed forces
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

Asylum and Immigration

Prohibition on entry into the country by LGB people
N/A

Country grants asylum on the basis of sexual orientation
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Blood donation

Is blood donation by men who have sex with men permitted?
N/A

Is blood donation by women who have sex with women permitted?
N/A

Is a man who’s had sex with another man banned from donating blood permanently?
N/A

Is a woman who’s had sex with another woman banned from donating blood permanently?
N/A

Is a man who’s had sex with another man banned from donating blood for a certain period of time?
N/A

How long is the ban?
N/A

Is a woman who’s had sex with another woman banned from donating blood for a certain period of time?
N/A

How long is the ban?
N/A

Does a law mention this?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

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Gender identity

Is there a clear legal difference between homosexuality and transgenderism?
No

Do the same laws that ban homosexuality apply for trans individuals?
Yes

Laws prohibiting discrimination on the ground of gender identity
No

In which areas?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Is transgenderism classified as an illness?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Were there individuals in jail or punished for being transgender in the last twelve months in your country?
N/A

Is sex reassignment treatment and/or surgery under legal control?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Is it possible to change your gender on official documents?
N/A

What are the requirements for one to change their gender?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Is it possible to change your name on official documents?
N/A

What are the requirements to change your name?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Does the law ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment?
N/A

What is the name of this law? (if applicable - please give chapter and section)
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

When was the law introduced? (DD/MM/YYYY)
N/A

Laws banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity in social services
No

Trans individuals able to serve in the armed forces
N/A

Country grants asylum on the basis of gender identity
N/A

Does a law mention this?
N/A

Is it often applied?
N/A

How regularly?
N/A

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

Have the country’s citizens been granted asylum on the basis of gender identity?
N/A

Are hate crimes based on gender identity considered an aggravating circumstance?
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

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HIV/AIDS

What estimated percentage of the population is HIV+?
N/A

Compulsory testing for HIV
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
The government has acknowledged the need to work with highly vulnerable groups like MSM in its policy statement on HIV/AIDS. However as for the NGOs, work of both local and international organizations in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention has been limited, unlike that of other neighboring countries. The NGO work remains largely uncoordinated and its program coverage of high-risk sub-populations is estimated to be less than 10 percent. [Information from a 2005 report].

Is it often applied?
N/A

How regularly?
N/A

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

Country can place people with HIV in quarantine
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

Is it often applied?
N/A

How regularly?
N/A

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

Country can ban foreigners with HIV from entry
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

Is it often applied?
N/A

How regularly?
N/A

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

Country can expel foreigners with HIV
N/A

What is the full text of this law?
N/A

Is it often applied?
N/A

How regularly?
N/A

When was the last time it was applied?
N/A

Antiretroviral drugs provided by the government
N/A

Please Specify
N/A

Links related to this section

  • N/A

Uploaded documents for this section

  • N/A

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