Guyana

At a glance

Same Sex
Relations
Legal?

NO

Legal Gender
Recognition
Possible?

NO

LGBTI Orgs
Able to
Register?

YES

Actions Related
to SOGI at
the UN

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

Overview

The colonial era Criminal Law Act of Guyana outlaws “gross indecency” between men, and same-sex relations between men as well as between people of a different sex (colloquially known as “buggery laws.”) Engaging in anal or oral sex can carry a punishment up to life in prison. The law is rarely enforced but contributes to ongoing negative perceptions of LGBTIQ people. A law banning cross-dressing was struck down by the Caribbean Court of Justice in 2018. Politicians regularly use anti-LGBTIQ hate speech and Evangelical Christian organizations vocally oppose the human rights of LGBTIQ people. Guyana remains a conservative country and Christian leaders hold cultural and political power. As a result, societal opinion of LGBTIQ people is mostly negative and LGBTIQ people are subject to threats, violent attacks, discrimination, harassment, and social stigmatization. However, some progress has been made. Guyana was the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to host a Pride march in 2018, inspiring others to follow suit, and public opinion, especially among younger generations, has been shifting.