LGBTQ+ community makes demands as elections loom

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In an effort to ensure their rights are adequately represented, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) on Tuesday launched its manifesto which it will present to political parties contesting the upcoming elections.

Read full manifesto here: SASODGuyana_ LGBTQ+ Manifesto 2020

SASOD’s manifesto includes 15 demands across five topic areas, and according to Managing Director Joel Simpson, those requests are just the bare minimum.

He noted that the organisation will be distributing copies of the document to all political parties contesting the elections. They will also be invited to a town hall meeting to discuss the manifesto.

“We are hoping with just a month to elections that we will see some of these demands already reflecting plans, proposal that are coming out of the parties because we been talking to them for the better part of 2019 in one-on-one engagement,” he added.

The manifesto focuses on constitutional and law reform, sexual and gender-based violence, education, public health, and social protection.

Among the demands are for the next Government to include sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for discrimination in the nondiscrimination provision of the Guyana Constitution.

They are also calling for Sections 351 to 353 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act which criminalises same-sex intimacy between consenting, adult men in private to be repealed.
Guyana is a party to international treaties that require the protection of basic human rights for everyone, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people.

According to Devon Black, a legal officer attached to SASOD, Guyana must honour these obligations.

“SASOD is calling on the next Government to bring Guyana’s laws into compliance with its international obligations”. Black expressed.

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination is a human rights organisation and movement working for equality and justice for all Guyanese.