Friday, May 1, 2015

I/A Court of Human Rights to decide for the first time on measures against homosexuals in the army

On December 11, 2014, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights submitted the case of Homero Flor Freire v. Ecuador to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for failure to comply with the Commission's recommendations.  Ecuador had discharged Mr. Freire from the Army for committing homosexual acts, which the Commission determined was impermissible discrimination based on sexual orientation.  It held that maintaining discipline is a legitimate aim of the military but that there is no real relationship between means and ends between punishing acts of homosexuality in the armed forces and upholding military values such as honor, dignity, discipline and the promotion of civic mindedness.  It recommended that Ecuador (1) make full reparation to Mr. Homero Flor Freire in the terms indicated in the Commission's report, both materially and morally, including measures of satisfaction for the harm caused; (2) publicly recognize that Mr. Homero Flor Freire was discharged from the Ecuadorian Army in a discriminatory fashion; (3) adopt the state measures necessary to ensure that the persons who work in the Ecuadorian Army or any office or section of the Ecuadorian army are not discriminated against based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation; (4) adopt the necessary state measures for the personnel of the Ecuadorian Army or any office or section of the Ecuadorian Army, as well as the judges at law in the military jurisdiction, to become familiar with the inter-American standards and with the provisions of Ecuadorian domestic law regarding non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, actual or perceived; and (5) adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the right to due process for members of the military tried by courts in disciplinary proceedings, including the right to an impartial judge or court.

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