Tonga

At a glance

  • Same-sex relations: illegal
  • Legal gender recognition: not possible
  • Registration of LGBTIQ organizations: possible
  • Actions related to SOGI at UN: did not vote on IE SOGI in 2016

 

Overview

The Criminal Offences Act of Tonga outlaws same-sex sexual activity, prescribing a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Tongan society is socially conservative and highly religious. A recent surge in fundamentalism and religious fanaticism has fomented anti-LGBTIQ sentiment in Tonga. LGBTIQ Tongans face discrimination, harassment, and social stigmatization.

Tonga recognizes gender diversity in relation to the fakaleiti, who are people assigned male at birth and take on a feminine gender role. Though the fakaleiti are respected and play a specific cultural role in Tonga, they still experience some stigmatization and discrimination.