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Press Release

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Court Rejects Bid to Decriminalize Same-Sex Conduct


Publish Date


New York, USA - February  16, 2024 - Outright International expresses deep disappointment at the recent decision of the High Court to reject the bid to decriminalize same-sex conduct in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This outcome represents a missed opportunity to uphold the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and promote equality and non-discrimination.

"The rejection of the bid to decriminalize same-sex conduct in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a huge disappointment and significant setback for LGBTQ rights in the country," says Maria Sjödin, Executive Director of Outright International. "We urge the government to reconsider its position and take meaningful steps towards ensuring the full protection and dignity of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

The High Court ruling risks perpetuating the stigmatization and discrimination faced by LGBTQ people in the country. The ruling upholds Section 146 of the Criminal Code, a “buggery” law that was imposed by the former British colonial powers in an effort to control its subjects, and its existence represents an unfortunate continuation of that harmful colonial legacy. In light of the High Court's failure to endorse decriminalization, Outright International urges legislators to take up the cause of equality and inclusion by repealing Article Section 146 of the Criminal Code.

As has been documented by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, LGBTQ people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines face employment discrimination, widespread violence and discrimination, and negative experiences with law enforcement, underscoring the importance of decriminalization.

Decriminalization is crucial to creating an inclusive society for all Vincentians. Inclusive laws can facilitate the government's ability to combat homophobic and transphobic discrimination in various sectors, such as work and education, and strengthen the rule of law for all residents.

Outright International calls on the Parliament of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to prioritize protecting and promoting LGBTQ rights in line with international human rights standards. It is imperative that the government takes concrete actions to ensure the full realization of human rights for all its citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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