On June 2nd 2018, Collectif Arc-en-Ciel, an organization which fights against homophobia and transphobia, cancelled its pride march due to protests. It was indeed a dark day for democracy: we are being selective on the concept of equality.
We understand that counter-protesters have as much rights as protesters but protesting to baffle someone’s right to love who is morally wrong. Everyone has the right to be offended but Mauritius is a democratic country; nobody should be persecuted on the basis of his or her sexual orientation. Although same-sex relationships are not recognised by the state, members of the LGBT community are protected from any kind of discrimination. Chapter II of the Constitution of Mauritius guarantees their right to private life, and the Equal Opportunities Act criminalises any discrimimation based on one’s sexual orientation.
Fighting for someone’s right to love whoever he or she wants should not be limited to the LGBTQ+ cause. In fact, one’s freedom is intricately linked to others: it is just a matter of time before they get up to you. There can never be true freedom when one group or community is denied their rights. Neither religion nor culture should determine who a person should love, it is up to the person.
At ELI Africa, we believe that someone has to be whoever he or she wants to be. We should cultivate love and respect people’s right to be themselves.