Noel Burke, a church leader in Barbados, has come out in support of the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community. Burke's show of solidarity comes days after three LGBT activists stated their intention to challenge Barbados' buggery laws at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
“We have to ensure that no human being is discriminated against on the basis of their gender or their sexual orientation. So every person has that right to participate in all of the areas and enterprises of human life,” said the Anglican cleric who also serves as the Chairman of the Barbados Christian Council Canon.
”Persons of the LGBT community have every right to go to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to put their case forward to have every right to be heard,” he said.
Alexa Hoffman, a 24-year-old trans woman, is leading the movement to have the laws changed.
“Suffice it to say that these laws have been on the books for far too long and are causing a lot more damage than they are intended or expected to, given that they invade a person’s rights to privacy in terms of consenting adults being able to more or less show intimacy through whatever ways they see fit,” Hoffman said in a report published Monday.
Last month, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May said she “deeply regrets” Britain's historical legacy of colonialism which imposed anti-gay laws throughout the Commonwealth.
Last year, the United Kingdom marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalized private sexual behavior between men over 21 in England and Wales. The law erased the centuries-old Buggery Act, allowing the UK to proudly proclaiming its so-called progressive stance on the LGBT rights to the rest of the world.
Originally instituted in 1533, during the reign of King Henry VIII, to make homosexual sex a crime punishable by death, the British empire transferred its antiquated law to its colonies in different parts of the world. Many of its former colonies continue to be shackled with anti-LGBT laws which were passed on to them as a kind of heirloom.