Pope Francis recently criticized laws as unjust that make homosexuality criminal, according to a recent report by The Guardian. The head of the Holy See further noted that God loves all people as they are and called on Catholic bishops to welcome LGBTQ+ into their churches. The Pope acknowledged that some Catholic bishops around the world support the laws that discriminate against or criminalize the LGBTQ+ community but attributed these opinions to cultural backgrounds and called for change. Francis’s comments ae the first from a pope regarding these laws, and gay rights advocates hail them as a historic milestone. The Pope’s comments are in line with his approach and belief that the Catholic Church should not discriminate but should instead welcome everyone.
Across the world, 67 countries or jurisdictions criminalize same-sex sexual activity even when consensual. Eleven of those nations’ laws allow for or do impose the death penalty, according to research by The Human Dignity Trust. Such laws are common in Africa and the Middle East, and many date back to British colonial times or are inspired by Islamic law. According to researchers, even in places where these laws are not enforced the fact that they exist contributes to stigma, violence, and harassment against the LGBTQ+ community. In America, despite a 2003 United States Supreme Court ruling declaring anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional, more than a dozen states still have these laws in on the books.
The United Nations has repeatedly asked for an end to laws that outright criminalize homosexuality. The UN further notes that these laws violate individuals’ rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination. The laws breach nations’ obligations to protect the human rights of all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation, under international law, according to the UN.
Because criminal law is becoming more and more international in nature, legal documents (both judicial and extrajudicial) often need to be served overseas. As a result, there are important factors that must be considered to make sure the documents are transmitted properly to the foreign sovereign’s jurisdiction. Generally, the options that are available under international law for serving legal documents abroad include the following:
- The Hague Service Convention;
- Bilateral treaties with other nations;
- Diplomatic channels; or
- Private process servers, local agents, and via mail.
Understanding your options under international law is critical to ensuring your lawsuit proceeds successfully.
If you have a case against an international defendant, contact Ancillary Legal at (404) 459-8006. Our team has the experience, resources, and staff to help you effectuate proper and valid international service of process. We provide both domestic and international litigation support so you can focus on the legal substance of your matter. Contact us today. If you need support for your depositions, court reporting, transcripts, and videography, contact us at Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting.