The constitutionality of the private member’s bill submitted to parliament seeking to amend the penal code with the aim of protecting the LGBTQI community has been challenged before the Supreme Court through a special determination petition.
A retired Army brigadier Athula De Silva, political analyst Shenali Waduge and businesswoman Jehan Hameed filed this petition naming the attorney general and MP Premnath C. Dolawatte as respondents.
The petitioners are seeking a declaration that the bill requires the approval by the people at a Referendum in addition to two-thirds passage in Parliament.
The petitioners said the private members’ bill titled penal code (amendment) has failed to look into and preserve the best interest of children.
The petitioners feared that the LGBT movements may promote their programmes in schools and impact the free decision making of the school children and may also give rise to transgender children.
The Petitioners further state that with the proposed amendment, it may decriminalize the homosexual activities (which include gay, lesbian, etc.) which can exacerbate the current situation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“Such situation endangers the national security of the republic since it has the potential to destroy the very fabric of what constitutes a state, that is the individuals, families, communities, economic and socio-political institutions, and the military and police forces which guarantee the protection of state institutions”, the petitioners said.
Even homosexual activities have not been endorsed in accordance with Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Islamic religious beliefs, also mention that the provisions of the bill in question are against those religious beliefs.