Trinidad and Tobago PM says she will end gay hate

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar promises to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Trinidad and Tobago PM says she will end gay hate
18 December 2012

Trinidad and Tobago’s prime minister has promised to put an end to gay hate in the country’s proposed national gender policy.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar revealed her plan to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination in a private letter to gay rights campaigner Lance Price, obtained by the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.

Price, who is the executive director of UK-based LGBT group Kaleidoscope Trust, confirmed he received the letter but refused to comment on its contents.

According to the newspaper, the letter was written in response to Price’s protest against the country’s homophobic Sexual Offences Act and immigration law which bans gay people.

In the letter, Persad-Bissessar wrote: ‘With respect to the concerns raised in your letter regarding aspects of T&T’s Sexual Offences Act and the Immigration Act which may target persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), I wish to assure you that due consideration is being given to these issues by my Government.

‘I do not support discrimination in any form against any individual, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. 

‘I share your view that the stigmatisation of homosexuality in T&T is a matter which must be addressed on the grounds of human rights and dignity to which every individual is entitled under international law.   

‘As such I am pleased to inform you that I have mandated my Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Senator the Honourable Marlene Coudray to prepare and present a national gender policy to Cabinet over the coming months. 

‘It is expected that once adopted, this policy will forge the way forward for T&T as my Government seeks to put an end to all discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.’

Speaking to the Guardian, Jason Jones of the gay rights group I Am One said: ‘We are aware the gender policy is about to be ratified by cabinet and it’s a great thing the PM is seeking to end discrimination against this group.

‘Trinidad and Tobago is deemed homophobic and internationally, this is not looking very good. The prime minister has out approval and support.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

US daytime soap General Hospital introduces gay character - who happens to carry lipstick

Head writer defends character's introduction, 'appalled' at the rush to judgement
No thumbnail available

Glee at work: A gay staff group for everyone

GSN interviews Andy Woodfield from PwC on how they have created GLEE, an LGBT staff network which works for straight people too
No thumbnail available

Gay Afghan refugee granted asylum in Denmark

The case sets a precedent for other gay asylum seekers, lawyer says
No thumbnail available

Gay UK football fans lured to hoax meeting and attacked

Charlton Rainbows, an LGBTI supporters group of Charlton Athletic, tweeted their shock at some members being attacked after meeting a hoax group
No thumbnail available

Lesbian who had gay slurs carved into skin speaks for first time

Neighbor of gay hate crime victim in Nebraska talks of 'shocking' attack which moved hundreds to hold vigils in support
No thumbnail available

Who is on the shortlist to win a European Diversity Award?

Evan Davies is tipped to win Journalist of the Year at the annual event held in London
No thumbnail available

Does your MP support trans rights?

New website launched in time for the UK general election to track politicians' commitment to the rights of trans people
No thumbnail available

US soap actress comes out as lesbian

Maureen Garrett played role of Holly Lindsey on Guiding Light for 35 years
Marriage equality to increase LGBTI tourism to the US by 9%
No thumbnail available

Australia: Two men found guilty of gay bashing murder

They beat to death man they caught having sex in park toilet with metal pole