Morocco LGBT Laws

Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 13 August 2015, whilst homosexual activity remains unlawful, a court in the central city of Fez sentenced two men to four months in jail and ordered them to pay a fine of 500 dirhams (around 50 euros/$55) for beating up a presumed homosexual man because of his appearance [R2.8].

R1.1 IOLnews: Morocco jails two for anti-gay beating 14 AUG 15
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In May 2008, it was reported that Article 489 of the Penal Code of November 26, 1962, provided –

Any person who commits lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of between six months and three years and a fine of 120 to 1,000 dirhams, unless the facts of the case constitute aggravating circumstances [R1.2].

In November 2006, it was reported that homosexual acts with or on minors are taken into consideration as aggravating circumstances [R1.2].

In August 1999, a report affirmed that a penalty of between six months’ and three years’ imprisonment and additional fines can be imposed for “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex” [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 24 February 2017, the Primary Court in Tangier reportedly sentenced two men, a university student and a real estate agent, to six months in prison for ‘engaging in homosexual acts’. They were also fined 1,000 dirham ($99, €94) each. They had been found out after a 90 second video of them started circulating on WhatsApp [R2.14].

On 09 December 2016, a judge reportedly declared innocent alleged same-sex couple Sanaa and Hajar, 16 and 17, who were arrested in Morocco for kissing, saying ‘they must be dealt with by their families’ [R2.13].

On 03 November 2016, it was reported that a kiss two teenage Moroccan girls aged 16 and 17 shared on a Marrekesh rooftop may result in three years in prison, they being charged with having committed a ”lewd and unnatural act” under the Muslim nation’s criminal code [R2.12].

On 02 June 2016, it was reported that a young gay couple, who had gone to a deserted area in the outskirts of Guelmim, a southern city of the north African country on 26 May, were caught by police having sex in their car and arrested under article 489 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes ‘lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex’. The couple were found guilty in the Court of First Instance and sentenced to six months imprisonment [R2.11].

On 26 March 2016, it was reported that a court in Beni Mellal had sentenced a homosexual man to two months imprisonment in accordance with article 489 of the Moroccan constitution and obliged to pay a fine of 45 euros ($50). The man and another were allegedly beaten and forced to go naked into the streets [R2.10].

On 01 February 2016, a court in Tiznit sentenced Hamza M and Osman A to one and a half years in jail and fined them 2,000 dirhams (£375) each on charges of homosexuality. Hamza M denied the charges however Osman A confessed. The men tried to escape by threatening the policemen with knives, however they soon apprehended [R2.9].

On 13 August 2015, whilst homosexual activity remains unlawful, a court in the central city of Fez sentenced two men to four months in jail and ordered them to pay a fine of 500 dirhams (around 50 euros/$55) for beating up a presumed homosexual man because of his appearance [R2.8].

On 19 June 2015, Lahcen, 38, and Mohsine, 25, were convicted of an “affront to public decency” and of an “unnatural act with a person of the same sex”, namely kissing in public. The men were jailed for four months and also fined 500 dirhams (£33) [R2.7].

On 23 May 2015, a court in Taourirt eastern Morocco was reported to have sentenced three men to three years in prison each for practicing homosexuality. Authorities in Taourirt had arrested two of the men who were caught in the act having gay sex inside a mechanic workshop and a third man said to be a mediator between the two men was also arrested [R2.6].

On 30 December 2014, the al Hoceima Appeals Court with Judge Mohamed El-Andaloussi presiding, upheld the conviction of two men accused of consensual homosexual activity for committing a “deviant sexual act with a member of the same sex” (penal code article 489) and “public indecency” (article 483), but reduced the sentences for both men from three years in prison and a fine to six months for one and one year for the other, who was also convicted of attempted bribery (article 251) [R2.5].

On 18 December 2014, a court in the northern city of El Hoceima sentenced an elected member from the municipal council of Imzouren and his lover, a student, to three years in prison on grounds of homosexual conduct while in a car of the municipal council [R2.4].

On 02 July 2014, a Moroccan appeals court in Beni Mellal upheld the convictions of men accused of homosexual acts. At least four of the six defendants in the case in central Morocco were convicted on charges that included “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex” under penal code article 489 [R2.3].

On 12 May 2014, the Faqih Bensalah court convicted six men for homosexuality, inciting prostitution, mediating in prostitution and being drunk in public, sentencing them to one, two and three years in jail and ordering that they be expelled from the town and never allowed to return on completion of their jail terms [R2.2].

On 20 May 2013, the Temara Court convicted two men, aged 28 and 19, of homosexuality and public indecency and sentenced each to four months in prison. They were allegedly caught having sex in a car and arrested. The men denied the charges [R2.1].

On 06 May 2013, the daily al-Akhbar reported that three Moroccans from the northern town of Souq al-Arbaa recently received three years in prison (and a fine of 1000 dirhams) for homosexuality [R2.1].

1. National
R1.3 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, May 2008
R1.2 German Bundestag: Criminal law provisions on homosexuality and their application around the world 28 NOV 06 at page 25
R1.1 Inter Press Service: Gay Staffers Seek Equal Treatment 16 AUG 99
Bnews: “Morocco Jails UK Man” 07 OCT 04
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.14 GayStarNews: Two men jailed in Morocco after friend leaked their ‘sex tape’ 28 FEB 17
R2.13 GayStarNews: Judge rules teen ‘lesbian couple’ arrested in Morocco for kissing are innocent 09 DEC 16
R2.12 TheWashingtonTimes: Moroccan court to try two teenage girls on homosexuality charges: Report 03 NOV 16
R2.11 GayStarNews: Young gay couple in Morocco jailed after having sex in their car 02 JUN 16
R2.10 LatinAmericanHeraldTribune: Moroccan Homosexual Beaten, Stripped Naked, Sentenced to 2 Months in Prison
R2.9 PinkNews: Two more men jailed for being gay in Morocco 03 FEB 16
R2.8 IOLnews: Morocco jails two for anti-gay beating 14 AUG 15
R2.7 TheTelegraph: Moroccan men ‘jailed for four months for kissing in public’ 19 JUN 15
R2.6 MoroccoWorldNews: Morocco: Court sentences three homosexuals to prison 23 MAY 15
R2.5 HumanRightsWatch: Morocco: Two Sentenced on Homosexuality Charge 04 MAR 15
R2.4 MoroccanWorldNews: Moroccan Court Sentences Elected Official, His Friend to 3 Years for Homosexuality 19 DEC 14
R2.3 HumanRightsWatch: Homosexuality Convictions Upheld 08 JUL 14
R2.2 GayStarNews: Morocco jails, will exile six men for being gay 15 MAY 14
R2.1 SFGN: 2 Moroccans Tried For Homosexuality Get 4 Months 21 MAY 13
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 13 May 2106, it was reported that a same-sex marriage between a Moroccan man and an Algerian one in the Spanish enclave of Melilla had sparked controversy in Morocco. Same-sex marriages have been legal in Spain since 2005 [R1.1].

R1.1 ANSAmed: Morocco: same-sex marriage in Spanish enclaves sparks uproar 13 MAY 16