LGBT persons urged to use votes to scrap discriminatory laws
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) persons were told to use their votes to elect a Government which will scrap discriminatory laws, as Guyana joins the observance of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
This call was made by General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), Lincoln Lewis as he addressed a reception hosted by the Canadian High Commission and the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) on Wednesday evening.
Lewis was the guest speaker at the event. In his address, the trade unionist alluded to sections of Guyana’s constitution which in its preamble calls for the elimination of all forms of discrimination but later includes clauses that contradict human rights.
He pointed out that “as an organised demographic, where you are not only citizens but workers and voters, you’re urged to intensify the use of your power to ensure the structural deficiencies in society are corrected. Those who seek your vote must know support is contingent, on moving to eliminate systems that may be against you,” as he addressed SASOD’s members and other officials.
Representing the Government at the event were Minister of Education Nicolette Henry and First Lady Sandra Granger.
The General Secretary alluded to laws relating to buggery and cross-dressing under which persons can be arrested and charged.
His view was supported by Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chaterjee who did not outrightly call for Guyana to review its laws but expressed her view that all countries should decriminalise same-sex conduct.
“Countless numbers of LGBT around the globe continue to face persecution simply for being who they are. Canada continues to work in solidarity with other governments and civil society organizations towards the goal of ending discrimination and violence and discrimination against LGBT persons,” the diplomat noted.
SASOD Director, Joel Earl Simpson called on those gathered to work towards ensuring progress continues towards to elimination of discrimination.
SASOD is the human rights organization leading the fight for equality for persons of the LGBT community in Guyana.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on May 17 and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.