LGBT rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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LGBT rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1996 (Federation of Bosnia),
1998 (Republika Srpska)
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
No recognition of same-sex relationships
Subnational limitations
(see below)
Adoption -
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve
Discrimination protections (see below)

Laws against homosexuality

Bosnia and Herzegovina are governed by two political entities — the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. Homosexual sex was decriminalized in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) in 1996 and in the Republika Srpska (RS) in 1998, by those two entities adopting their own criminal laws. The age of consent is 14, regardless of sexual orientation (having sexual relations with a person under 14 is considered statutory rape.).

Recognition of same-sex relationships

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples on a federal or subnational level. Both the federal constitution and the constitution of Republika Srpska remain silent on gender eligibility for a marriage, and the federal statues of Bosnia and Herzegovina themselves remain wholly silent on such requirements. On a subnational scale, however, both the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, as prescribed by their respective family codes.[1]

Discrimination protections

The Law on Gender Equality, adopted in early 2003, prohibits discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation (Article 2). However, in local languages version of this law, the word gender is not used (word sex is, although with the meaning of gender) and sexual orientation is not defined. This law is on the State level. Prohibition of the discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is also found in the Constitution of the Brčko District , Labor Law of the Brčko District and the Criminal Law of BiH (Article 145), the Criminal Law of the FBiH, and the Criminal Law of the RS. Subsequent to these implantations, sexual orientation has been consistently and purposefully excluded from drafts of a forthcoming anti-discrimination paragraph,[2] of which parliamentarians have stalled over for over half of a decade (though for unrelated reasons.). It is doubtful that such exclusions will be made final, considering the federation's desire for accession into the European Union, with an official bid being submitted in the eve of 2010. The European Union requires all member states to prohibit at least a minimal amount of anti-gay discrimination in order to join.

Living conditions

There are two organisations in BiH, working on the human rights of LGBT population - Organisation Q and Organisation Logos. Organization Q for Promotion and Protection of Culture, Identities and Human Rights of Queer Persons was founded in September 2002, and formally registered in February 2004. [1]. Organisation Logos was founded and registered in 2006. [2]

Queer festival 2008 incident

Several people were attacked at the end of the first day of the Sarajevo Queer Festival. Eight people, policemen included, were reported to have been injured after large group of islamic fundamentalists attacked visitors to festival. According to the organizers of the four-day event police allowed anti-gay protestors to get too close to the venue thus endangering the participants.

The festival, organised by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) non-governmental organization, Udruženje Q, opened in the Academy of Fine Arts in the centre Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The attacks forced the organizers to make the rest of the festival a private event. This festival who promote interests and socialisation LGBT population was the first cultural event of this kind in history of Sarajevo.

See also


External links


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