Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community here are not persecuted for their sexual orientation, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has said.
In seeking to dispel “the notion that homosexuals and lesbians were being targeted across the island”, Brathwaite told Canadian High Commissioner Marie Legault during a courtesy call Wednesday that although buggery was still illegal in Barbados, this did not impact consenting adults, according to a release from the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS).
The Attorney General told the Canadian diplomat that Barbados remained one of the Caribbean islands where gays could exist without fearing for their lives, while stressing that citizens have always been aware and very “tolerant” of same-sex relations within the society, BGIS said.
The Canadian government representative told Brathwaite her country “thrives on diversity”, and she hoped that Barbados would eventually come to a place where it was “different from the rest of the Caribbean”.
Members of the LGBT community have often complained of a lack of tolerance by the Barbadian public, and discrimination by the business community.
Founder of Barbados Gays, Lesbians and All-Sexuals against Discrimination (BGLAD) Donnya Piggott told a symposium on gender-based violence last November that members of the community were being denied employment because of their lifestyles.
The BGLAD president also charged that members of the LGBT community were facing domestic challenges, with some of them being kicked out of their homes and ostracized in their neighbourhoods.
Just last month the National Youth Parliament lost its prime minister after Government intervened in a debate on LGBT rights.
A resolution drafted by the young parliamentarians to reflect their concerns about discrimination – in particular that which affects members of the gay community – was altered at the last minute by officials of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, which has oversight over the youth parliament, forcing prime minister Roshanna Trim to quit.