Group To Challenge Anti-Gay Laws In Antigua, OECS

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Actual LGBT pride flag

The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), today announced the launch of five legal challenges to the remnants of draconian laws of our colonial past. The claims, all expected to be filed before the end of 2019, will challenge the buggery and indecency laws in Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Saint Lucia.

Executive Director of ECADE, Kenita Placide said, “this is four years in the making. While the process of litigation is important, the main part of this journey was to strengthen the organisations and the communities within the countries they serve. We also needed to understand how these laws contribute to the stigmatisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people, how they legitimise hate speech, discrimination and violence and tear at the heart of the family that our society, including our governments, have sworn to protect.”

The intention to file these cases challenging the constitutionality of the buggery and indecency laws is the result of a process which commenced with a meeting organised by United and Strong of Saint Lucia and GrenCHAP of Grenada in 2015. Organisations representing LGBTQI people and other marginalised groups from seven islands in the eastern Caribbean came together for the first time, shared experiences and strategies, and created the regional advocacy hub that is ECADE.

Adult, consensual, same-sex intimacy is criminalised in nine Caribbean countries, all of which are members of the Commonwealth. Discriminatory Penal Codes on the islands date back to the British colonial era, and unfairly target LGBT people. Although custodial sentences are rarely imposed, those convicted under these laws can face sentences ranging from ten years to life imprisonment.

Executive Director of ECADE, Kenita Placide said, “this is four years in the making. While the process of litigation is important, the main part of this journey was to strengthen the organisations and the communities within the countries they serve. We also needed to understand how these laws contribute to the stigmatisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people, how they legitimise hate speech, discrimination and violence and tear at the heart of the family that our society, including our governments, have sworn to protect.”

Filed by ECADE on behalf of member organisations and citizens who are affected by these discriminatory laws, these cases follow the four-year process developed at the Grenada meeting. ECADE has worked closely with our regional and international partners to support litigants in the cases.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. It is a RIGHT FOR ANY GOVERNMENT TO BAN SAME SEX MARRIAGES LIKE ABORTIONS ….IT IS A RIGHT …ITS ALSO A RIGHT TO CHALLENGE ANY LAWS ….

    LIKE I SAID PREVIOUSLY THAT WILL NEVER STOP MEN FROM BULLPOOPING OR WOMEN FROM USING STRAPONS…..what an individual does behind closed doors is their RIGHT….

    DNT EVER MEANS WE MUST ACCEPT IT…..

    IM LOOKING FOR CHURCH LEADERS TO ALSO SPEAKOUT PUBLICLY AGAINST SAME SEX MARRIAGES …dnt worry abt the collection plates THE WORD IF GOD SHOULD STAND……

    I HATE THE SIN BUT LOVE THE SINNERS…

  2. Why would the “church” be asked to step up and make noise about this when they’ve kept quiet about everything else in society?.

    • Simple. Churches are not what they used to be. They have become business places and in some cases laundromats!

      • You are right. The preacher should cry out against this foolishness that is against God.

        Jeremiah the prophet did cry out. And if these pastors are truly from God they should cry out.

  3. Why these gay people think that everybody has to accept their choice/behavior with same sex marriage? If they want to carry on their life style then do so but DO NOT expect all to accept it. MOST people do not hate the individuals we just do not condone the behavior/lifestyle. What is so so hard in that to understand. Just like you have RIGHTS to make choices, so do the rest of us who condemn.

  4. This is exactly what Cutie wanted when he came out and made his statement in parliament.

    He very well know what he wants to do, but to look good in the sight of the public he grabs stand, and in the same breath instruct the group to take the matter to court, so that he can say his hands are tied the court made me do it.

    Go back and listen to his remarks again.

    Tricks and lies. By the way what prompted that topic? Is it coincidental that before he is finished talking this group appears, with the same instructions from the minister “only the court can make him do it”

  5. @ Melchisedec

    Go to the head of the class. This has been the AG mo for years. He did this once before when some Jamaican boy complained about not being able to obtain an Antiguan passport after a decade of residence because he has gaps in his residence. This led to the indefinite amnesty policy and the reinterpretation of the constitutional law that mandates that a commonwealth citizen has to reside for 7 continuous years before being granted citizenship.
    I suspect that senator Lake is spearheading this initiative and she has already hit the ground running.

  6. The “church” is one of the main body’s which contributes to this “bullpooping,” and other acts which have being fueling the fire, of these groups.
    Does the lawsuits, and billions of dollars in settlements, in the Judiciary World wide agsinst the “churches” rings/tolls a bell?

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