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3 Caribbean Countries Have Now Quashed Colonial-Era Laws Criminalizing Gay Intercourse

The<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>Barbados<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>High Court has quashed laws criminalizing gay sex Photo Credit rawpixelcom

 

Barbados’ highest court has found that colonial-era rules criminalizing gay intercourse in the Caribbean nation are unconstitutional. According to The Associated Press, Monday’s top court decision makes Barbados the third Caribbean island to abolish such restrictions this year. Such legislation have already been declared unlawful by courts in Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Prior to Monday’s judgement by the Barbados High Court, activists and nonprofit organizations had been actively lobbying for such legislation to be repealed. Gay males who are found guilty of having sexual relations in Barbados face life in jail. The Caribbean is thought to be conservative.

“It’s gone from a certain ripple effect to a tidal wave in the Caribbean, which is what everyone involved set out to achieve,” Téa Braun, who is the chief executive of the Human Dignity Trust human rights organization, said.

Barbados’ highest court has declared that colonial-era rules that penalize homosexual sex in the Caribbean nation are unconstitutional. According to The Associated Press, Monday’s top court decision makes Barbados the third country in the Caribbean area to overturn such regulations this year. Courts in Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis have already ruled that such laws are unconstitutional.

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Prior to the Barbados High Court’s judgement on Monday, activists and charity organizations had been actively lobbying for such restrictions to be repealed. Gay men convicted guilty of sexual intercourse in Barbados face life in jail. The Caribbean region is known to be conservative.

The court’s decision was also hailed by UNAIDS, which stated that it will reduce the stigma connected with HIV care for LGBTQ persons. “Decriminalization saves and changes lives while also strengthening society,” according to the group.

However, while campaigners and other organizations have called for similar laws to be abolished throughout the Caribbean, many Christian churches and organizations in the region have been opposed, according to The Associated Press. And some politicians, using religion as a cause.

Guyana, Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Jamaica are the only countries in the Americas that still retain such laws. A similar case is reportedly said to be being heard in St. Lucia.

The Barbados High Court issued an oral judgement on Monday. A written judgment outlining why the court issued the ruling will be released at the beginning of next year. It is still unknown whether the administration will seek an appeal against the court’s judgment.

However, the island nation’s Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, is recognized as pro-LGBTQ. She advocated for the removal of such laws while serving as the Caribbean country’s attorney general.

A survey published last year stated that anti-LGBTQ+ policies cost Caribbean countries up to $4.2 billion per year. According to the analysis, which was created by Virgin Atlantic and Open for Business (OFB), a network of enterprises fighting for LGBTQ rights, anti-LGBTQ+ policies cost English-speaking Caribbean governments up to $4.2 billion in sales every year, or nearly 5.7% of GDP.

According to the analysis, the region’s tourist sector loses close to $689 million, or around 0.93% of its GDP. The research, titled The Economic Case for LGBT+ Inclusion in the Caribbean, is widely recognized as the most comprehensive survey of LGBTQ+ persons in the Caribbean and the diaspora. OFB polled LGBTQ persons in Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the diaspora from those countries.

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Written by How Africa News

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