Director of the Aids Action Foundation (AAF), Joan Didier, has lamented that generally attitudes in the Islands of the OECS towards LBGT persons have not changed.
“Across the board attitudes remain the same,” Didier told the Times.
She was among participants at a conference on security training for LGBT persons that opened in Saint Lucia yesterday.
Didier observed that people in same sex relations who perceive themselves to be different and know they are different in the way they want to love and live, are subject to a lot of stigma and discrimination.
She asserted that this hinders their desire to seek sexual and reproductive health support.
The AAF Director was of the opinion that the issues of stigma and discrimination need to be addressed before the sub-region can even think of same sex marriages.
She noted that an election process is now in place here, but felt that none of the candidates would address those issues since the majority of the population are Catholic or Christian and would be offended.
Didier said that buggery still remains an offence on the statute books, which is another issue that needs to be addressed.
“I think we across the board we need to start speaking the language of human rights, so that people are entitled to be different to you, to love differently and have sex differently in their private space. You need to recognize that they do have those rights and let them be.”
The representative of the British High Commission told the conference that the British government was proud to stand up for the rights of LGBT people everywhere, by promoting tolerance and non-discrimination and addressing discriminatory laws – especially those that criminalize homosexuality.