Haiti's Senate Passes Bill To Make Open Support Of LGBT Rights A Crime
First gay marriage was outlawed, now open support of of LGBT rights, what's next?
August 03, 2017 at 10:31 pm
The Haitian Senate has approved a law that would make it a crime to “publically demonstrate support” for gay rights. The bill still has to head over to the lower house, but if greenlit, the law would make it a crime to take part in or even to witness to same-sex unions.
People who even attempt to take part in any same-sex marriage would face criminal charges with up to three years in prison for “the parties, co-parties and accomplices” to a same-sex marriage.
Not only would gay marriage be outlawed, but this bill would also attempt to eradicate all public support for same-sex marriage equality.
The law would create a new offence for “any public demonstration of support for homosexuality and proselytizing in favor of such acts.”
Although marriage according to Haitian law is defined as a union between a man and a woman, the law was promoted to lawmakers as a way to ban same-sex marriage once and for all.
According to AFP, Senate President Youri Latortue, “All senators are opposed to same-sex marriage, so this simply reflects the commitments the senators made during their campaigns. Although the state is secular, it is people of faith who are the majority. A country has to focus on its values and traditions. Some people in other countries see it differently, but in Haiti, that’s how it’s seen.”
President of the LGBT rights group in Kouraj, Haiti, Charlot Jeudy, responded to the bill, “We see this as an attack on the LGBT community in this country. This text divides our society. It reinforces prejudices and discrimination. It’s really a pity.”
This is not the first time Haiti has seen an attack on the country’s LGBT rights.
After the 2010 major earthquake in Haiti, many homophobic preachers blamed homosexuals for the earthquake, citing God’s outrage because attendees of an LGBT support group were among those killed in one of many building collapses.
In 2013, a homophobic mob threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at a British same-sex couple who had been celebrating their engagement. The mob turned increasingly violent and several people were injured in the chaos. Not only that, but two cars were set ablaze and windows were smashed at the residence where the ceremony was held.
Even last year, the government banned an LGBT festival that was supposed to take place in Port-au-Prince.
We are still waiting to see if the bill passes into law, as are many of the country’s leading LGBT spokesmen-and-women.