Suriname, South America

Suriname is one of four non-Spanish-speaking states in South America along with Brazil, Guyana, and French Guiana. Suriname has the highest percentage of Muslims in the Americas. It received its independence from Holland in 1975. More than 80% of Suriname's land-mass consists of unspoiled rain forest. Since there are no sodomy laws in Suriname homosexuality is technically legal (not illegal) and there are no anti-discrimination protections. The age of consent is set at 18 for homosexuals, 16 for heterosexuals. The code section which criminalizes homosexual acts with someone under the age of 18 with up to four years imprisonment (Section 302) is "hardly ever enforced". Same-sex marriages, civil partnerships or domestic partnerships are not recognized. Open expressions of homosexuality are taboo, especially for men. There is less prejudice against gay women. "Matis" (intimate female friends) are an old and accepted practice amongst the Afro-Surinamers. There is a small gay community in Paramaribo and there is a gay cafe called Cafe XPO.



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 »

Activist Roundtable by Question

The Bahamas – Erin Greene I joined CAFRA (Caribbean Association for Feminist Research in Action) in The Bahamas in 2000 and became the Bahamas’ National Representative for CAFRA in 2002. I am now the interim deputy chairperson of CAFRA. I was a member of CRAFFT (Constitutional Rights Reform and Facilitation Team) that conducted a six-month… Read more »

I just returned from an extraordinary training in Suriname

I just returned from an extraordinary training in Suriname with dozens of brilliant LGBT activists who are working to increase safety and visibility across the Caribbean. I want to share with you the inspiring words of a 22-year-old activist, Paige Jennan Andrew, who wrote about the event: “Empowering and extremely fulfilling are the words that… Read more »