IE SOGI refers to the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
The Penal Code of Antigua and Barbuda prohibits same-sex relations (known as the “buggery law”) and "serious indecencies". Although the law does not explicitly mention gender identity or expression, law enforcement officials often conflate sexual orientation and gender identity and, as such, these laws are also used to criminalize gender identity and expression which doesn’t correspond with the norms associated with the sex assigned at birth. Though these laws are rarely enforced, they contribute to the pervasive antipathy towards LGBTIQ people in Antigua and Barbuda. LGBTIQ organizations have developed and grown in visibility in recent years, achieving landmarks such as LGBTIQ sensitivity training for police. However, the Penal Code provides legal cover for continuing police targeting and the harassment of LGBTIQ people. Some politicians publicly espouse the belief that LGBTIQ identities are immoral, and religious groups oppose progress towards LGBTIQ equality. Violent attacks, harassment, discrimination, and social stigmatization of LGBTIQ people at the hands of law enforcement and private citizens is common. Transgender people are particularly vulnerable, because there is no mechanism for legal gender recognition in Antigua and Barbuda.