Haiti - Social : The BAI alongside «Kouraj»
for a march against homosexuality, scheduled for July 19, 2013.
The BAI recalls that homosexuality and transgenderism remain taboo within Haitian society, and as a result, the lives of many LGBT individuals are characterized by secrecy, isolation, discrimination, and violence. Some Haitian politicians and public figures allege that homosexuality is foreign to Haitian culture, and by implication, LGBT rights are therefore irrelevant...
By equating the practice of homosexuality to unnatural practices and a lack of education, the religious leaders who have called for this march are undermining the work that has been done to increase tolerance of the LGBT community. LGBT Haitians are constantly threatened in person, on the Internet and across many platforms for simply being who they are. LGBT individuals are frequently harassed by police and arrested for what appears to amount to criminalization of their basic identity...
The BAI stresses that discrimination against Haiti’s LGBT community is in violation of the rights guaranteed by the 1987 Haitian Constitution. The Constitution guarantees all Haitians the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, consistent with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The constitution also recognises the elimination of discrimination and the acceptance of “the community of language and culture” as essential to strengthening national unity. Article 17 guarantees the political and civil rights of all Haitians, and Article 18 guarantees equality before the law. These articles create an obligation on the Haitian Government to act to protect any Haitians whose rights may be violated by the actions of other groups.
Consequently, the BAI call upon :
- The Government to protect the Constitutional right to life and dignity of LGBT individuals without discrimination;
- Religious leaders to cease and desist from mobilizing against the LGBT community, which undermines the rights of their fellow Haitians to live in freedom; and
- The general public to come out in support of their LGBT brothers, sisters, daughters and sons, who are only seeking the right to live in the same peace and tranquillity that they enjoy.
(1) LGBT : Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
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