Cuba’s draft constitution opens path to gay marriage

Havana (Reuters) – The draft of Cuba’s new constitution opens the path to same-sex marriage, a government official said on Saturday, which would make the country that once persecuted homosexuals an unlikely leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. In the early years of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, many homosexuals were sent to correctional… Read more »

Bermuda’s Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage — Again

The latest step in a circuitous legal journey allows same-sex couples in Bermuda to once again legally wed. On Wednesday, Bermuda’s Supreme Court struck down part of The Domestic Partnership Act — a law that had barred same-sex couples from marrying — saying it was unconstitutional. This is the second time the Supreme Court has… Read more »

Did Rihanna help a pro-LGBTI politician become Barbados’ new leader?

Mia Mottley is Barbados’ first female prime minister The Caribbean island of Barbados has just elected its first female prime minister and pop superstar, Rihanna, might have had something to do with it. Mia Mottley of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won last week’s election, after a homophobic campaign from her opposition that used speculations… Read more »

Raul Castro’s daughter to push for gay marriage in Cuba

Havana (AP) — Mariela Castro, a Cuban lawmaker and daughter of Communist Party chief Raul Castro, says she will push for gay marriage to be included in a constitutional reform process expected to begin in July. The reform is expected to encompass a wide range of modernizing changes to Cuba’s 1976 constitution, which was designed… Read more »

Men ‘hounded out of their homes’ after celebrating repeal of Trinidad and Tobago’s anti-gay law

Three separate participants in a rally celebrating the repeal of Trinidad and Tobago’s buggery law have been hounded out of their homes. A court ruling in Trinidad and Tobago earlier this month struck down a British Colonial-era law that criminalised gay sex in the islands, finding it a violation of gay people’s human rights. ?… Read more »

Trinidad and Tobago court says laws barring gay sex are unconstitutional

Gay sex between consenting men in Trinidad and Tobago could soon be decriminalised following a court judgment that campaigners said might spark similar decisions elsewhere in the Caribbean. In his ruling on Thursday, judge Devindra Rampersad said sections of the Sexual Offences Act, which prohibit “buggery” and “serious indecency” between two men, criminalised consensual same-sex… Read more »

Trinidad and Tobago judge rules homophobic laws unconstitutional

The ruling, which declared sections of the Sexual Offences Act unconstitutional, may soon lead to decriminalising gay sex Gay sex between consenting men in Trinidad and Tobago could soon be decriminalised following a court judgment that campaigners said might spark similar decisions elsewhere in the Caribbean. In a ruling on Thursday, judge Devindra Rampersad said… Read more »

Bermuda officially becomes the first country to abolish same-sex marriage

Bermuda has officially moved to abolish same-sex marriage less than a year after bringing in a law to legalise it. Just six months after legalising same-sex marriage, Bermuda announced it would be rolling back the law and replacing it with an alternative. ? A bill to introduce domestic partnerships was approved without amendment last year… Read more »

Why it’s gotten harder for LGBT people in Haiti since the earthquake

The name of Haiti’s most prominent LGBT rights organization is Kouraj (Haitian Creole for courage) — with good reason. The group’s headquarters have moved three times after attacks. The current office is on a side street, unmarked, with a plainclothes security guard out front. But inside there’s no question where you are. The reception area… Read more »

Trinidad and Tobago president-elect shoots down rumours about her sexuality with the perfect response

The president-elect of Trinidad and Tobago has perfectly shot down rumours about her sexuality. Paula-Mae Weekes is set to be the sixth president of the country, but since the election, her private life has been pulled into question. Many have accused Weekes of being a lesbian because she is neither married nor has children. Weekes… Read more »

An incredible court ruling just ordered 16 countries to make same-sex marriage legal

A landmark court ruling has ordered 16 new countries to make same-sex marriage legal. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights reached a decision today on a marriage equality petition submitted two years ago by Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis. 20 countries agreed to follow the court’s rulings when they signed the American Convention on… Read more »

These Underground Santo Domingo Parties Are Shattering Gender Norms and Celebrating Queer History

The Dominican Republic is famous for its idyllic beaches, effervescent people and bomb culinary traditions. But the reality of living on the island of Quisqueya rarely mirrors the glossy pamphlets found at travel agencies, especially for queer people. Santo Domingo’s LGBTQ movement is still in its infancy, and though strides are being made in visibility… Read more »

Thugs throw Molotov cocktails into Puerto Rico gay bar

A gay bar in Puerto Rico has been hit in a shocking arson attack. Emergency services were called to Circo Bar, a popular gay nightclub in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after the attack on Sunday. According to reports from local newspaper El Vocero, several Molotov cocktails were thrown into the club at around 7:30 PM… Read more »

Is Jamaica Safe And Welcoming For LGBTQ Travelers?

in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine An Interview with Jamaica’s tourism minister Edmund Bartlett, MP Next month, Jamaica will host a tourism conference on jobs and inclusive growth. Tourism jobs and training have been an important source of economic empowerment for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people all over the world, and Jamaica’s focus… Read more »

Jamaican gay activist found murdered in his home

A gay LGBT activist has been found dead in his home in Jamaica. Dexter Pottinger’s body was found with multiple stab wounds earlier this week on Thursday. It is not yet known when Pottinger was killed because he was found decomposing. The death of the activist, who was also a fashion designer and model, has… Read more »

Bermuda could re-ban gay weddings, months after couples first tied the knot

Bermuda could become the first country in the world to re-ban same-sex marriage. The first same-sex coupled tied the knot in Bermuda earlier this year, after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex unions is a discriminatory violation of human rights. The Bermudan government subsequently confirmed it would not appeal against the ruling. However,… Read more »

Little Stories Of Illegal Love And Survival In Jamaica

Sometimes it is the stories you hear of people who you know the least about, who you are furthest connected to, that touch you the most deeply; suffering or tragedy of another that makes you pause momentarily- and alters your sense of perspective thereon. This handful of little stories shared by LGBT+ Jamaicans exposes their… Read more »

Bermuda newspaper has perfect response to first same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage has come to Bermuda, and the local newspaper’s response is giving us life. Last week a gay couple won a legal challenge to tie the knot in Bermuda, after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that a ban on same-sex unions is a discriminatory violation of human rights The plaintiffs, Bermudian native Winston Godwin… Read more »

Growing up gay in the Caribbean, I was in constant survival mode

On an island where everything from pop music to the church demonises your sexuality, you police your every move It is a strange thing growing up in an island called “Little England”. You inherit the legal system, the educational system and even the old English mannerisms and words. But you also inherit something far more… Read more »

Exile challenges Trinidad and Tobago over its life-in-jail gay sex ban

Both male and female gay sex is punishable by up to 25 years in prison The gay sex ban in Trinidad and Tobago is facing a legal challenge. Jason Jones, from Trinidad, is challenging Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offenses Act. Under the T&T law, gay sex is punishable with up to 25… Read more »

The UN’s LGBT expert has advocated for a global partnership to end violence

He advocated for unity in his keynote speech at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Bangkok. Vitit Muntarbhorn said: “resolute action is required to stop the violence and discrimination affecting not only LGBT communities but also the human rights defenders working with them… “this goes hand in hand with the… Read more »

Why Has Cuba’s HIV-Infected Population Doubled This Decade?

By many measures, Cuba is doing a bang-up job of fighting HIV. The country has long boasted the lowest HIV prevalence of any Caribbean nation, and was recently celebrated internationally for becoming the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission. Over the last five years, however, Cuba has seen a startling rise… Read more »

This is how Fidel Castro persecuted gay people

Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro has died aged 90 – prompting strong debate about his time in power that included the rounding up, persecution and murder of LGBT people. Homosexuals were viewed as inherently counter-revolutionary and homosexuality was declared a “deviation incompatible with the revolution” by Castro’s regime. LGBT people, particularly gay men, were routinely sent… Read more »

Cuban youths, LGBT community enjoy nightlife, dream of better future

Some youths pick remaining on island over U.S. migration Sanata Clara, Cuba – The night starts with a stop by the Camilo Theater, inside the tallest building in Santa Clara, Cuba, in what’s known as the Santa Clara Libre Hotel. Inside one of the rooms that used to be a movie theater, a popular cover… Read more »

Problem with men who have sex with men?

…Ask yourself: What would Christ do? The important matters of individual and public health are seldom discussed from the perspective of culture, society’s history, or religious norms. Yet, the social determinants of health include all these factors, in addition to matters such as disease vectors and the social issues surrounding communicable and non-communicable diseases. When… Read more »

Cuba’s gay community comes out of the closet

Santa Clara, Cuba — As summer kicks off on this communist island, tall transvestites in short sparkling dresses and high heels line up at El Mejunje nightclub, a ruined hotel that turns into a sanctuary on Saturdays for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. Some patrons start shaking their hips to the beat of American hip-hop,… Read more »

LGBTI rights: Important legal precedent in the Caribbean

In a landmark decision delivered on Friday, June 10, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that as a homosexual I must be allowed into Belize and Trinidad notwithstanding their laws that ban the entry of gays. The court also urged both countries to repeal these archaic bits of legislation, which create confusion for travel… Read more »

Transformational Journeys 2016

El Puente—A Bridge to CUBA The St. Paul’s Foundation calls this adventure—El Puente—a bridge, hoping it to be the first of many crossings for our organization between Cubans and Americans as it becomes easier to engage deeply with one another. Cuba and the US are so geographically close, but the journey across, as you will discover, still has… Read more »

Barbados official says gays should be ‘left alone’ despite sodomy law

The Attorney General of Barbados has said that the country should protect gay people – even though gay sex is still technically illegal. Barbados law specifies that the punishment for male ‘buggery’ is life imprisonment, though the law is not regularly enforced. The ban initially dates back to the British colonial era, though it was… Read more »

Lead By Mariela Castro, Cuban Gay Activists Plan Mass Symbolic Wedding To Promote LGBT Rights

Havana, May 5 (Reuters) – Cuban gay rights activists led by the daughter of President Raul Castro plan a mass symbolic wedding on Saturday to promote acceptance of gay and transgender Cubans in a country once notoriously hostile toward them. The ceremony will be part of an annual gay pride parade and will be symbolic… Read more »

Stop Calling Jamaica “the Most Homophobic Place on Earth”

In April 2006, Time magazine branded Jamaica with an epithet it has yet to shake: “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth.” The article mentioned the murders of two of the island’s leading gay activists and detailed acts of mob violence, including the brutal bludgeoning of a gay man at the hands of assailants who included… Read more »

The number of Jamaicans who ‘hate’ gays has risen over 20% in four years

The number of people in Jamaica who “hate or reject” homosexual relationships has risen over 20% since 2011, a new survey has revealed. The 2015 Awareness, Attitude and Perception Survey asked employers, politicians and members of the public a number of questions in regards to same-sex relationships between June and July last year. Commissioned for… Read more »

Gay Pride and Prejudice in Dominican Republic

Shortly after taking up his post as American ambassador to the Dominican Republic in November 2013, Wally Brewster got a bit of unsolicited advice from the Vatican’s envoy to the Caribbean nation. “If you keep your private life behind the walls of your embassy, you’ll be O.K. here,” Nuncio Jude Thaddeus Okolo told Mr. Brewster.… Read more »

Dominicans see LGBT rights advancing thanks to gay US diplomat

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (AP) — Deivis Ventura is still just a candidate for the Dominican Republic’s Chamber of Deputies, but he feels like he’s already scored a victory. The 42-year-old former private school teacher, the first openly gay person to run for his country’s Congress, is delighted his campaign has not encountered overt hostility… Read more »

Dominicans See LGBT Rights Advancing With Gay US Diplomat

Deivis Ventura is still just a candidate for the Dominican Republic’s Chamber of Deputies, but he feels like he’s already scored a victory. The 42-year-old former private school teacher, the first openly gay person to run for his country’s Congress, is delighted his campaign has not encountered overt hostility as it likely would have in… Read more »

Groups attack US ambassador for taking husband to school

Conservative groups in the Dominican Republic have called for the US ambassador to resign after taking his husband to a  local school. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Dominican Republic attacked Wally Brewster in a statement issued this week. “Mr. Brewster approaches our children in public and private schools, in sports tournaments, and other youth… Read more »

Lesbian hip-hop duo from Havana fights homophobia with music

London (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – According to Odaymara Cuesta from the lesbian Cuban hip-hop band Krudas Cubensi, there’s a gay person in every family in Cuba. But a lot needs to change in Cuba before its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens are able to expose their true identity without fear of discrimination in… Read more »

Puerto Rico Governor promises equal marriage is here to stay despite court ruling to re-ban it

The Governor of Puerto Rico has spoken out in favour of equal marriage – after a judge attempted to re-ban same-sex weddings by throwing out parts of the US Constitution. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States and is not fully recognised as a US state. After the US Supreme Court ruled… Read more »

Cuba for sale: ‘Havana is now the big cake – and everyone is trying to get a slice’

Property developers are queuing up to pounce as Cuba opens its doors to the world. Proposals for Havana’s old harbour are described as ‘Las Vegas meets Miami in the Caribbean’. So can the city cope with the commercial storm ahead? In central Havana’s Parque Fe del Valle, at the end of a street bustling with… Read more »

Is Cuba Taking the Lead on LGBT Equality in Latin America?

Last May I had the pleasure of hearing Mariela Castro, daughter of current Cuban president Raúl Castro and niece of the infamous dictator Fidel Castro, speak while she was visiting on her extremely controversial trip to the United States. The following night I was fortunate enough to be granted direct access to her at a… Read more »