CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb. 28, CMC – The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) has urged governments across the region to “strongly denounce any forms of violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.”
ECADE, in a joint statement with the Castries based United and Strong said that groups representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Caribbean citizens “have long cautioned our governments that buggery and gross indecency laws pose a threat to the lives of anyone perceived to be gay, and therefore criminal, whether or not they are.”
The statement was issued in the wake of the murder of a Guyanese national Michael Pooran in St. Lucia last weekend.
The police report that on Sunday morning, they responded to an incident in which Pooran, 26, reportedly sustained several stab wounds during an alleged altercation.
One persons is now in police custody in connection with the incident.
In the statement issued on Thursday, both human rights organisations said it is alleged that Pooran’s death is due his perceived sexual orientation.
“We encourage the governments of St Lucia and the eastern Caribbean to re-examine the impact of the Buggery and Gross indecency Laws that are widely interpreted as criminalisation of the LGBT community.,” the statement said.
“These laws at once create an image of gay people as un-apprehended criminals and emboldens others with a sense of impunity that has proven to be a real threat to anyone whose gender expression is felt to be outside the norm,” the statement added.
United and Strong and ECADE said they will both continue “advocacy to achieve full recognition of the human rights of all people through litigation and advocacy.As such we will continue to monitor and engage with law enforcement, the judiciary and state representatives.”