What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Antigua and Barbuda
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda is one of the countries in the world where it is illegal to be gay.
Why is homosexuality illegal in Antigua and Barbuda?
Colonised by Britain, the criminalisation of sodomy was imported during the colonial period.
Today, the prohibition against same-sex sexual acts still stands and is now covered by the country’s Sexual Offences Act. The penalty is a maximum imprisonment of 15 years. However if an adult is convicted of having sex with a minor, then the penalty is life imprisonment.
Legal challenges are being mounted against Antigua and Barbuda’s anti-gay laws. It’s likely that a legal challenge will be successful, based on the precedent established in Belize. Antigua and Barbuda has an almost identical legal system to Belize. In 2016, the Supreme Court in Belize struck down that country’s sodomy ban on the basis that it was unconstitutional.
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Antigua and Barbuda?
A socially conservative country, homophobia is systemic and widespread.
Because homosexuality is illegal, there are no anti-discrimination protections in place that cover sexuality.
LGBTQ people are forced to conceal their sexuality and are at risk of persecution and prosecution.