By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) says it is time Guyana repeal archaic sections of the constitution that discriminates against and criminalizes same sex relations.
Co-Chair of SASOD, Joel Simpson in a recent interview highlighted several concerns of SASOD, as he noted that the organisation would like to see the post May 11 government address the sections of the law that violate some basic tenets of human rights.
“Constitutional reform is badly needed…we would like to see sexual orientation and gender identity added as grounds for discrimination in Guyana’s constitution,” said Simpson, adding “we need to get rid of all the bad laws.”
He said that a new gender identity should be considered given the existence of Guyana’s transgender community.
“Law reform generally…we want to see the laws which criminalise same sex intimacy and cross dressing repealed…all of those 19th century colonial era laws, which we still have on the books and we don’t really enforce…we have to clean up all of that,” Simpson noted during the interview.
The SASOD Co-Chair also pointed out that there is need for a comprehensive sexual education policy to be introduced to the education system, noting that it paves the way for the youths to be better informed when taking decisions relating to sexual intercourse.
Simpson also noted that there is need for a zero tolerance approach to be adopted towards bullying in school with special attention being placed on homophobia and transphobia.
“We want the youths to grow up in an era where it’s illegal to discriminate against people of the LGBT community…they are less likely to be homophobic than people of the current generation where it is completely criminalized in the law itself,” he said.
Simpson also pointed to the existing unemployment situation in Guyana noting that if more jobs were available, LGBT persons would a stand better chance of acquiring jobs.