On April 15, 2016 News Americas Now reported: The U.S. has again put the spotlight on former British Caribbean colonies with on the book laws against same-sex coupling.
The U.S. State Department ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015,’ unveiled Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry, cited 11 Caribbean nations as places where it remains illegal to have same-sex relations. They are:
1: Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda’s human rights infractions listed by the U.S. includes having laws on the book that discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons. The laws still existing in this former British colony includes the prohibition of anal intercourse and consensual same-sex sexual activity for men being deemed illegal under indecency statutes. Indecency statutes carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adult men carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.
2: Barbados In Barbados, a former British colony as well, the law also criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults. However, the penalties are more severe with up to life imprisonment listed on the books though there were no reports of the law being enforced last year.
3: Belize The Central American nation of Belize was slammed also for its laws which states that “carnal intercourse” with any person “against the order of nature” shall receive a punishment of 10 years’ imprisonment. The government interprets this law as including sex only between men. Additionally, Belize’s Immigration Act prohibits “homosexual” persons from entering the country even though immigration authorities did not enforce the law.
4: Dominica In the Commonwealth of Dominica, consensual same-sex sexual activity for both sexes is illegal under indecency statutes. The law also prohibits anal intercourse between male partners through the laws are rarely enforced. But the indecency statutes carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adult men carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.
5: Grenada In Grenada, it is illegal for men to have consensual same-sex sexual activities. They could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment. The law makes no provision for same-sex sexual activities between women.6: GuyanaIn the South American nation of Guyana, it is also illegal for adult men to have consensual same-sex relations and they could face up to two years in prison. Anal intercourse is punishable with a maximum sentence of life in prison, regardless of whether the intercourse is between persons of the same sex. There are no laws concerning same-sex sexual activity between women. The law also criminalizes cross-dressing.
7: Jamaica In Jamaica, which the U.S.’ latest rights report says “homophobia is widespread,” laws on the book prohibit “acts of gross indecency” (generally interpreted as any kind of physical intimacy) between persons of the same sex, in public or in private.) Such acts according to the law is punishable to two years in prison. There is also an “anti-buggery” law that criminalizes consensual as well as non-consensual anal intercourse. Anyone found guilty faces up to 10 years in prison. But the law was only largely enforced in cases of sexual assault and child molestation and was not used to prosecute consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men.