Menu
Demerara Waves - Riding on the crest of truth
 

Listen Live

android
apple
blackberry
 
 

Guyana's gay rights organisation preparing for parliamentary select committee

Left to Right: Guyanese singer Nhojj, Co-Chairs of SASOD, Namela Baynes and Joel Simpson Left to Right: Guyanese singer Nhojj, Co-Chairs of SASOD, Namela Baynes and Joel Simpson

Guyana’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is preparing their submissions for a parliamentary select committee for the repeal of sodomy and other laws they say discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Co-Chair of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Joel Simpson said the Guyana Equality Forum (GEF), a coalition of like-minded civil society organisations,” is being geared to make submissions to the bipartisan committee.

Partly in keeping with a recommendation by the United Nations Universal Period Review on Human Rights, the committee would by year-end or early 2014 begin receiving submissions on scrapping the colonial laws against buggery and cross-dressing.

The GEF includes Red Thread, Justice Institute Guyana. Also interfacing with SASOD is the SASOD is the fath-based organisation, Guyana Faith and HIV Coalition.

Simpson also announced SASOD’s plans to establish a secretariat for two years to press parliament to take action after the select committee completes its work and submits its report to the 65-seat House. “…that the special select committee doesn’t just prepare a report which looks great to Geneva when we come up for UPR (Universal Periodic Review) in 2014 and then that report languishes some where.

“That report should be brought to the House for further consideration and debate and then action in terms of repealing bad laws and amendments to make existing laws better and stronger and extend protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity so that LGBT Guyanese can be included,” he said.

Guyana’s Chief Justice Ian Chang is expected to deliver judgment later this year on whether laws against buggery and cross-dressing are unconstitutional after four of seven male cross-dressers who were charged in 2009.

Since its establishment 10 years ago, SASOD has so far unsuccessfully pushed for Guyana’s constitution to be amended to guarantee non-discrimination of persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. That provision was defeated in a conscious vote in 2003.

Measuring the level of homophobia in Guyana now compared to a decade ago, the SASOD co-chair said more heterosexuals are supporting his organisation’s work in the performing arts. “That just demonstrates in a very, very vivid way in my mind the shift that we are seeing that stigma associated with supporting LGBT issues is not as strong as it was back then and people are willing to be associated with gay rights organisation,” he said.

Unlike the past when the discourse appeared to have been focussed only on religious perspectives, Simpson believed the discourse has evolved into one that addresses human rights and public policy. “Subjective religious beliefs are not the basis for decision-making when it comes to these issues. It’s the basis for your own personal moral engagement about how you determine your own behaviour,” he said.

SASO boasts what it says is a “strict child protection policy.”

back to top

Recent News

Prev Next Page:
Man implicated in cocaine-laced tonic deaths on narco-trafficking charge

23 July, 2014

Man implicated in cocaine-laced tonic deaths on narco-traffi…

The man allegedly linked to the death of four persons who drank cocaine-laced SS...

GECOM must prove readiness for polls- Luncheon

23 July, 2014

GECOM must prove readiness for polls- Luncheon

Government on Wednesday called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to pro...

Caribbean tax essay winners announced

22 July, 2014

Caribbean tax essay winners announced

The Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administration (COTA) on Monday announced the ...

Comedian Habeeb Khan dies

22 July, 2014

Comedian Habeeb Khan dies

Veteran Guyanese comedian, Habeeb Khan died early Tuesday morning at his East Ba...

Bartica residents complain about blackout; GPL says working to fix problems

22 July, 2014

Bartica residents complain about blackout; GPL says working …

Residents and businesses at Bartica have been complaining about frequent blackou...

UG students to pay higher tuition fees

22 July, 2014

UG students to pay higher tuition fees

Most new and continuing University of Guyana (UG) students will have to pay high...

PNCR to allow one member-one vote

22 July, 2014

PNCR to allow one member-one vote

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) intends to amend its constitution t...

High Court frees schoolboy of murder, State appeals

22 July, 2014

High Court frees schoolboy of murder, State appeals

The High Court on Tuesday freed a 19-year old man, who was charged with the murd...

Rice farmer killed during toilet quarrel with sister's partner

22 July, 2014

Rice farmer killed during toilet quarrel with sister's partn…

A rice farmer of Strath Campbell, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara was stabbed to ...

Ex fireman jailed for wounding colleague

21 July, 2014

Ex fireman jailed for wounding colleague

An ex fireman was Monday convicted and jailed for feloniously wounding one of hi...

Transparency Institute's status upgraded

21 July, 2014

Transparency Institute's status upgraded

The Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) says it is moving closer to beco...

PNCR Linden group claims tinkering with delegates

21 July, 2014

PNCR Linden group claims tinkering with delegates

As the countdown the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) heads into its con...

Several New Amsterdam prison officers face demotion following unrest

21 July, 2014

Several New Amsterdam prison officers face demotion followin…

Several officers attached to the New Amsterdam Prison are to be demoted and a ne...

Wife kills husband

21 July, 2014

Wife kills husband

A Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) employee has been stabbed to death and his pre...

Updated: Suspect in stabbing death of gays commits suicide

20 July, 2014

Updated: Suspect in stabbing death of gays commits suicide

The two gays, who were stabbed to death early Sunday morning, were not the inten...

Gays stabbed to death; Juan Edghill's utterance blamed

20 July, 2014

Gays stabbed to death; Juan Edghill's utterance blamed

Two gays were stabbed to death early Sunday morning in Georgetown- incidents tha...

Police, GRA bicker over non-submission of statements in shoot-out with smuggler

19 July, 2014

Police, GRA bicker over non-submission of statements in shoo…

A suspected smuggler, who allegedly opened fire on a number of customs officers ...

Opposition must deal with consequences of no-confidence vote- Ramotar

18 July, 2014

Opposition must deal with consequences of no-confidence vote…

President Donald Ramotar on Friday said his administration was ready for early g...

Promenade Gardens teen robber jailed

18 July, 2014

Promenade Gardens teen robber jailed

A teenager was Friday convicted for robbing a couple in the Promenade Gardens an...

AFC tells Ramotar time-up, ready for no-confidence

18 July, 2014

AFC tells Ramotar time-up, ready for no-confidence

The smaller opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) has told President Donald Ramot...

Fly Jamaica hit by resignations, flight delays

18 July, 2014

Fly Jamaica hit by resignations, flight delays

(JAMAICA OBSERVER).-A number of flight delays have rocked Fly Jamaica Airways Li...

Two seriously hurt in early morning accident

18 July, 2014

Two seriously hurt in early morning accident

Two females were seriously injured early Friday morning when the car in which th...

Guyanese police want to question boat captain about alleged piracy

17 July, 2014

Guyanese police want to question boat captain about alleged …

In the wake of the discovery of the body of one the fishermen after what is beli...

Police probing gun attack on GRA officers

17 July, 2014

Police probing gun attack on GRA officers

The Guyana Police Force is currently investigating an armed attack on four offic...

Colwyn Harding bailed on alleged robbery with violence charge

17 July, 2014

Colwyn Harding bailed on alleged robbery with violence charg…

Colwyn Harding, who has sued the State for more than GUY$80 million for alleged ...

Essequibo rice miller gets cash to pay paddy farmers

16 July, 2014

Essequibo rice miller gets cash to pay paddy farmers

Rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast on Wednesday began receiving outstanding pay...

Two dead, several injured in Linden Highway accident

16 July, 2014

Two dead, several injured in Linden Highway accident

Two persons were killed Wednesday evening when a minibus ran off the Soesdyke-Li...

Guyanese scouts to participate in Caribbean Jamboree

16 July, 2014

Guyanese scouts to participate in Caribbean Jamboree

A contingent of 42 Guyanese scouts is due to participate in the 15th Caribbean S...

Recommended News Links

Recommended Radio Links

Other News and Opinion Wesbsites