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. ?
However, the repeal of the law definitely hasn’t dismantled a culture of homophobia overnight.
An LGBT group based in Trinidad and Tobago, Friends for Life, put out an appeal for emergency accommodation this week – after several men who appeared at a rally celebrating the repeal of the law were hounded out of their homes.
According to the country’s Newsday newspaper, the group put out the appeal on behalf of three men who needed an emergency place to stay.
One of the men was told by his landlord that he was no longer welcome after being photographed at the rally, while another was harassed into fleeing his home. The third, a young man, was reportedly rejected by his family after being seen at the rally.
The group said they have since had offers of support for the men.
Luke Sinette, a social worker who runs the group, told Newsday: “I got a message from [the first man] yesterday, that his landlord said he had to leave.
“The landlord identified his visibility at the rally for the decision he took.”
Of the second man, Sinette added: “He was going home, when he got to his gate, he was attacked and taunted and had to make a report at the Belmont Police Station.
“Now he wants to leave his home, because he is terrified, afraid that he could be in the sanctity of his home or walk out of his gate and be attacked because people know where he lives.
“This guy, like most of the people who were at the rally, are people who have come out. They are not in the closet, but I guess because they are more visible, having been seen on television, other people are now more emboldened to attack them.”
Of the third man, Sinette said: “[He] is ‘out’ with his family, they know he is gay, [he] was out front and centre at the rally, holding the banner and was covered by every media and in every newspaper.
“Because of this, his parents would have asked him to leave. We were really shocked because his parents know, but perhaps he misjudged them or perhaps he embarrassed them because maybe their friends and relatives did not know.”
Viral videos in the country have shown dramatic scenes at the rally, which led to a clash between the activists and anti-LGBT religious campaigners.
At least one LGBT activist reported being spat on and pushed.
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.
The move led to anger from evangelical campaigners, with Bishop Victor Gill claiming that “if homosexuality is gonna be decriminalised, it will criminalise Christian freedom.”
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, Gill hit out at pressure from UK Prime Minister Theresa May in support of the decriminalisation of homosexuality across the Commonwealth.
by Nick Duffy
Source – PinkNews