IE SOGI refers to the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
The Crimes Act of Samoa, passed in 2013, outlaws “sodomy”, and bans anal and oral sex between all individuals, regardless of gender, though the law is rarely enforced. In contrast, Samoans have been protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation since 2013, and grounds of real or perceived sexual orientation have been recognizes as aggravating circumstances in the nation's hate crime legislation since 2016. Additionally, Samoa prohibits health professionals from attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation. Despite these protections, LGBTIQ Samoans face discrimination, harassment, and social stigmatization. Politicians regularly use anti-LGBTIQ hate speech and the Censorship Board has sporadically censored movies depicting LGBTIQ people or content. Samoans are more accepting of people with diverse gender identities because Samoa has a traditional third gender community called fa’afafine. Fa’afafine and fa’afatama were assigned male or female at birth, respectively, and embody traits from across the gender spectrum. Despite their historical acceptance, fa’afafine have no path to legal gender recognition.