LGBT rights in Nauru

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StatusLegal since 2016
Gender identity-
MilitaryHas no military
Discrimination protectionsNo[1]
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people living in Nauru face legal and social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT persons. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since May 2016, but there are no legal recognition of same-sex unions, protections against discrimination, or other protections.

The Human Truth Foundation has listed Nauru at rank 87 for LGBT rights. This was similar to other Pacific nations, such as Palau (86), the Marshall Islands (88) and Micronesia (90).[3]

In 2011, Nauru signed the "joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity" at the United Nations, condemning violence and discrimination against LGBT people.[4]

Legality of same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity was criminalised in 1921 when the island adopted the Criminal Code of Queensland (the Criminal Code 1899), which was retained following Nauruan independence in 1968.

In January 2011, Mathew Batsiua, Minister for Health, Justice and Sports, stated that the decriminalisation of "homosexual activity between consenting adults" was "under active consideration".[5] In October 2011, the Nauruan Government pledged to decriminalise same-sex sexual acts.[6][7][8]

According to the United States Department of State, there were no reports in 2012 of prosecutions directed at LGBT persons.[9]

In May 2016, the Parliament of Nauru passed the Crimes Act 2016 which repealed the Criminal Code 1899 and therefore legalised same-sex sexual activity.[10][11][12][13][14]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 2016)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 2016)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Has no military
Right to change legal gender No[1]
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nauru, one of the smallest countries in the world, decriminalizes gay sex
  2. ^ "Nauru Government Stats". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  3. ^ LGBT Rights Across the World, Which are the Best and Worst Countries?
  4. ^ "Over 80 Nations Support Statement at Human Rights Council on LGBT Rights » US Mission Geneva".
  5. ^ National Report of Nauru Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine to the Human Rights Council, November 2010
  6. ^ "Nauru". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Nauru" (PDF). Human Rights Council.
  8. ^ "São Tomé and Príncipe to legalise gay sex". PinkPaper. 2011-02-14. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-02-25. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld - 2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Nauru". Refworld. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  10. ^ Nauru Government updates Criminal Code
  11. ^ Nauru decriminalises homosexuality
  12. ^ Homosexuality is now no longercriminalised on Nauru Archived 2016-05-28 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Crimes Act 2016
  14. ^ Doherty, Ben (2016-05-29). "Nauru decriminalises homosexuality and suicide". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-01.

External links[edit]