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Government officials handle such applications in an ad-hoc manner, even summarily rejecting applications to change gender on official documents, according to interviewees.
In other cases, agencies subject them to arbitrary, invasive, or onerous procedures—including having to produce evidence of gender transition and reassignment surgery, procuring letters from parents explaining how they acted as a child, and having to repeat explanations for different officials of their experience of transitioning.
These laws, together with abovementioned criminal offenses and regulations, enable a range of abuses against LGBTI people by state officials and the general public.
These include a law against “cheat[ing] by personation,” and the vaguely worded Vagrants’ Ordinance that prohibits soliciting or committing acts of “gross indecency,” or being “incorrigible rogues” procuring “illicit or unnatural intercourse.” Sections 365 and 365A of the Sri Lankan Penal Code prohibit “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and “gross indecency,” commonly understood in Sri Lanka to criminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults, including in private spaces.This in turn can have serious social and health implications, including inhibiting access to HIV prevention and treatment: Sri Lankan health agencies have identified transgender people and MSM as key populations in addressing the HIV epidemic.Social standing plays a significant role in the discrimination that LGBTI people face: those who are poor, who engage in sex work, or who obviously do not adhere to rigid gender norms are most vulnerable to abuse, including physical assault or arrest.*** an opportunity to expressly incorporate gender identity and sexual orientation into the constitution’s equal protection clause, and other fundamental rights protected under international law that are currently absent from constitutional text, including the rights to life, health, and privacy.Sri Lanka’s parliament should urgently repeal criminal law provisions that criminalize same-sex sexual relations.