December 11, 2014
Ref.: Case No. 12.743
Homero Flor Freire
Mr. Secretary:
I have the pleasure of addressing you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights in order to submit to the jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American Court of
Human Rights case no. 12.743 – Homero Flor Freire, concerning the Republic of Ecuador
(hereinafter “the State,” “the Ecuadorean State,” or “Ecuador”).
The case involves the international liability of the Ecuadorean State, stemming from
decisions that led to the separation of Mr. Homero Flor Freire from the Ecuadorean Ground
Forces, under then-applicable Rules of Military Discipline. Those Rules punished, with separation
from service, sexual acts between persons of the same sex. The Commission found that, although
“maintaining discipline within an armed force” is a legitimate purpose, punishing “homosexual
acts” in the armed forces is not a valid means of protecting the military values in question, such as
honor, dignity, discipline, and civility. The Commission stated that to say otherwise would be to
ascribe a negative value to sexual activity per se between persons of the same sex, and would
encourage stigmatization of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or persons so perceived.
The Commission also found that the Rules then in force provided a less damaging
punishment for “illicit sexual acts” than for acts characterized in those Rules as “homosexual acts.”
On this point, the Commission found such difference in treatment to be discriminatory. The
Commission also found that the specific proceedings, both in the presentation of evidence and in
the court's explanation of its reasoning, were biased by discriminatory prejudices concerning a
person's ability to carry out his or her functions within a military institution on the basis of his or
her actual or perceived sexual orientation. Finally, the Commission found that the proceedings
against Mr. Homero Flor Freire violated the guarantee of impartiality and that the petition for
protection lodged did not constitute an effective recourse for protecting his rights.

Mr. Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Apartado 6906-1000
San José, Costa Rica

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