WASHINGTON –The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is to give its first ruling on punitive state measures against gays, after examining the case of an Ecuadorean soldier who was expelled for his sexual orientation.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR, said Thursday that it brought this case before the Court as there was “existence of discriminatory prejudices by which the aptitude of a person to perform his or her functions within a military institution has traditionally been called into question, on the bases of his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation.”
Homero Flor Fleire was removed from the army based on a military discipline regulation that penalizes sexual acts between persons of the same sex with expulsion from service, according to IACHR.
“The Commission does not find the relationship between means and ends, as between punishing ‘acts of homosexuality’ in the armed forces and upholding the military values sought to be protected, such as honor, dignity, discipline, and extolling civic-mindedness,” the Commission said in a statement issued in Washington.
“Stating otherwise would imply ascribing a negative moral value to the sexual act between persons of the same sex itself, in addition to promoting the stigmatization of gay, lesbian or bisexual persons, those perceived as such,” it added.
The IACHR, an autonomous body of the Organization of American States, submitted the case to the Court on Dec. 11, 2014 after Ecuador failed to follow the recommendations.
The Commission also recommended the State take measures necessary to ensure that the soldiers of the Ecuadorean army or any other branch are not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, real or perceived.
The IACHR also asked Ecuador to make both the army and military courts aware of the Inter-American standards and domestic Ecuadorean legislations regarding non-discrimination based on sexual orientation.
It also called for guaranteeing the right to due process of military trial in disciplinary court proceedings, including the right to an impartial judge or court.