Persons who identify as gay in Barbados are not persecuted for their sexual orientation.
Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, made this clear yesterday, while dispelling the notion that homosexuals and lesbians were being targeted across the island.
Speaking during a courtesy call with Canadian High Commissioner, Marie Legault, at his Wildey, St. Michael office, Mr. Brathwaite maintained that although buggery was still illegal in Barbados, this did not impact two consenting adults.
Adding that Barbados remained one of the Caribbean islands where gay persons could exist without fearing for their lives, the Attorney General stressed that citizens have always been aware and very “tolerant” of same-sex relations within the society.
However, Mr. Brathwaite noted that he did not expect to see a “Caribbean consensus” on same-sex relations any time soon, given the wide-ranging viewpoints of each island nation.
While acknowledging that Canada “thrives on diversity”, High Commissioner Legault stated that she hoped Barbados would eventually come to a place where it was “different from the rest of the Caribbean”.
The two officials also discussed the introduction of plea bargaining to reduce the backlog of cases in Barbados’ judicial system; measures to lessen gun-related crimes; finding innovative ways to reduce the resurgence of property crime; and retrofitting the island’s schools to become multipurpose facilities.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Gayle Francis-Vaughan; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Deborah Payne; Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Attorney General, Charles Piggott; and Supervising Officer for Juvenile Matters and Prison Matters, Joyanne Blackman Jarvis, were also present at the meeting.