The Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela determined this Thursday (16) the annulment of an article of the Code of Military Justice that provided for punishment for homosexuals within the Armed Forces.
The norm, annulled at the request of the Ombudsman’s Office, provided for a sentence of one to three years in prison for, according to the text of the code, “any soldier who commits sexual acts against nature”.
“The Constitutional Room […] annulled, at the request of the Ombudsman, Alfredo Ruiz Angulo, the provision contained in the sole part of article 565 of the Organic Code of Military Justice, as it lacked sufficient legal clarity and precision about the conduct it intended to resolve”, points out the decision.
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Also according to the TSJ, the article violated the Venezuelan Constitution and human rights agreements ratified by the country.
“Even if sexual acts against nature were understood as those not intended for reproduction, said interpretation, in the light of current scientific, social and legal concepts, is not compatible with the Constitution, nor with international instruments validly signed and ratified by the Republic, before above all, because it is contrary to the fundamental postulate of progressivity in matters and the guarantee of human rights”, pointed out the Court.
The decision was celebrated by members of LGBTQIA+ movements in Venezuela. To the Brazil in Factactivist Leandro Villoria classified the decision as “historic” and said that it is the result of years of protests they have organized in the country.
“A good thing about this decision is its retroactive effect, so several companions who were dismissed after being framed in this article will now be able to apply for reinstatement”, he explains.
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Villoria was one of those responsible for organizing a protest in November last year that took place in front of the Ombudsman’s Office building. Some protesters even chained themselves in the vicinity of the building to demand that the director of the public body comply with their demands.
In addition to the decriminalization of homosexuality in the Armed Forces, other agendas of this demonstration were the right to change names for trans people and equal marriage.
“We are sure that this decision is the beginning of other advances, but only if we remain united and in the streets. We are already pushing for a name change for trans people and now we want to call a referendum to vote for equal marriage”, says Villoria.
Editing: Nicolau Soares