Liberal sex laws by 2015 on the table
Legalising homosexuality and prostitution on the cards for the Caribbean.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday February 20, 2012 – The abolition of buggery and prostitution laws by 2015 is being considered by some Caribbean countries striving to achieve their Millennium Development Goals.
This according to a senior United Nations (UN) official who said the countries, mostly former British colonies that are Caricom member nations, are faced with potential political and religious fall-out as a result.
UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS to the Caribbean, Dr. Edward Greene, said at least 20 per cent of some Caribbean countries were gay, and stressed that a culture shift must be considered.
He joins others in the view that prohibitive laws forces commercial sex workers and Men who have Sex with Men to go underground, making it difficult for them to access HIV education, diagnosis and treatment.
According to him, the Caribbean plans to take a two-pronged approach to the situation, and will include rallying support from Champions for Change, faith-based organisations and women’s groups, and on the premise that regional laws are more easily acceptable.
But with politicians fearful of taking a stand which may be unpopular among voters, or upset the religious organisations, Dr. Greene said experts proposed to produce a research paper on the impact of decriminalizing such activities in other countries. “In that way politicians in each jurisdiction would be better insulated from criticisms,” he said.
He is calling on Caricom member countries to take a regional position as it relates to the revamping on such laws, and which will also be in keeping with international trends. “That way we save national politicians from having to put forward these views as if they were theirs,” said Dr. Greene, a former Caricom Assistant Secretary General for Human and Social Development.
He added that the Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS was drafting a model legislation for the past five years.
(Source: Demerara Waves Online News www.demwaves.com)