Guyana marchers oppose repeal of anti-LGBT laws

Guyana’s apparent progress toward repealing its anti-LGBT law ran into opposition last weekend, as hundreds of anti-homosexuality protesters marched through the streets of Linden, the country’s second-largest town. 

Guyana is the only country in South America with anti-LGBT laws. It has an unenforced law that calls for life imprisonment for homosexual acts and another that bans cross-dressing.

The local LGBT advocacy group, SASOD (the Society Against Gender Orientation Discrimination), has been campaigning against those laws and has been seeking new legislation to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Guyanese officials have voiced their support, but have not yet acted on their words.

President David Granger, for example, said, “I am prepared to respect the rights of any adult to indulge in any practice which is not harmful to others.” He also suggested, then dropped, the possibility of a referendum on the anti-homosexuality law. 

Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrencespoke out against anti-LGBT stigma, saying, “we can’t afford to remain caught in the traps of traditional mind-sets, shunning and deeming LGBT persons as outcasts in our society. We have to wake up to the realization that these are human beings whose human, political and social rights are being violated.”

None of that went over well with followers of the “Come As You Are Ministries,” who marched through Linden on Saturday. Read more via 76 Crimes