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Haiti - FLASH : The Senate passes a law against the Gay community
03/08/2017 10:01:01

Haiti - FLASH : The Senate passes a law against the Gay community
Tuesday evening, the Senate ratified a bill (led by Senator Cantave) against the LGBTI community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexual). Of the 14 Senators present at the time of the vote (less than 50% of senators in the Upper House) 12 voted for, 1 against (Patrice Dumont) and 1 abstained (Kédelaire Augustin).

This bill, in addition to prohibiting marriage (or attempted marriage) between two persons of the same sex in Haiti, also prohibits all forms of public demonstrations in support of homosexuality and proselytism in favor of such acts and stipulates that "any promotion, in any form or by any means, constitutes an offense of contempt of good morals and public decency."

The seven-item bill includes sanctions and specifies that perpetrators, co-perpetrators and accomplices of a homosexual marriage face a penalty of 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 Gourdes...

This bill also includes foreigners on Haitian territory, since one of these articles stipulates "No foreigner can avail himself of his personal status and the provisions of the law of his country to solicit the celebration in Haiti of a marriage between two persons of the same sex."

Senator Youri Latortue, President of the Senate, does not see the Church's hold on the secular state of Haiti, but rather the result of the majority senators who have expressed their faith saying "All senators are opposed to same-sex marriage so this only reflects their commitments made at the time of their campaigns [...] necessary to focus on its values and traditions, abroad, some see it differently but in Haiti, we see it like that."

The gay community is concerned about this bill and Charlot Jeudy, President of the "Kouraj" Association (an organization recognized by the Haitian state), which defends the rights of LGBTI, does not hesitate to qualify this bill as "an attack against the LGBTI community in Haiti". He said this text will further divide society, reinforce discrimination and bring much more violence and prejudice against the LGBTI community.

This bill must now be transferred to the lower house, where members should ratify it without any doubt before transmitting it to the Executive for publication in the official newspaper "Le Moniteur".

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