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Venezuela’s Supreme Court decriminalizes homosexuality in the armed forces

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has struck down a controversial article in the military justice code that had criminalized homosexuality in the armed forces.

The court struck down the provision, which carried a sentence of up to three years in prison, “for lacking legal clarity and precision as to the behavior it intended to punish,” the court said on its website.

He had called for sanctions against members of the military who committed “unnatural sexual acts”, but did not define what that meant, the statement said.

The article was not compatible with the constitution or the advancement of human rights, the court added.

Members of conservative Venezuela’s LGBTQ community hailed the decision.

“After so many years of struggle, we have obtained the nullity of the article of the code of military justice,” activist Leandro Viloria told AFP.

A military officer who was expelled after the armed forces learned he was gay told AFP that the cancellation of the article opens up the possibility for him to seek reinstatement.

“Now it is a question of assessing whether, given this situation, my reintegration continues – at least with this the fear will disappear,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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