Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Freedom comes to Barbados

Last year, Barbados they threw out the colonial monarchy. And now, they've legalised gay sex:

A top court in Barbados has struck down colonial-era laws that criminalize gay sex, becoming the third nation in the conservative Caribbean region to do so this year.

The ruling issued Monday by the Barbados high court is a pivotal moment for activists and non-profit organizations who have long fought against such laws on the eastern Caribbean island, including one that demands up to a life sentence for gay men found guilty of having sex.

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

There's now only 6 countries in the Americas which still criminalise gay sex, and only 67 in the world. This sadly includes far too many in our own region - Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Niue all criminalise gay sex, though like Barbados none really enforce it. But as in Barbados, the mere existence of such a law is discriminatory and stigmatises LGBTQ people. It would be nice if these countries followed through on their promises of legalisation.