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Some comrades are more equal than others

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Tue, Jan 15, 2013

Editor: Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves recently spoke at Hugo Chavez’s inauguration in Venezuela stating emphatically “Hugo Chavez is a light that illuminates the world, especially for the working people, the poor, the marginalized and all those who suffer discrimination”.{{more}}

His speech suggests that Hugo Chavez is one of his role models, a mentor perhaps. Non-commercial same sex sexual activity has been legal in Venezuela since 1999 and there are anti-discrimination laws in employment since that year as well. When will the Prime Minister extend this light in removing the laws that criminalize homosexuality in St Vincent and the Grenadines? These laws effectively marginalize and discriminate against many Vincentians, who are also the working people.

Chavez has been quoted as saying in regards to homosexuality “What I am indeed against is any persecution against anyone based on sexual orientations” and “we are all equal, the particularities of the individual, of a human being, have to be respected.”.

When will I as a gay Vincentian not be defined by the legislature as a criminal? When will lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Vincentians be free of institutionalized oppression and the stigma that these laws re-enforce?

Sean Macleish

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