Coordinator of local group, Minority Rights Dominica (MiriDom), Daryl Phillip has reacted to the denial of a recommendation to have consensual buggery among adults legalized in Dominica.
“What is the reason for it? I mean, is there really a reason why they rejected it?” he asked.
Recently a committee was set up, headed by Legal Consultant, Ray Harris, to review the Sexual Offenses Act of 1998 and make observations and recommendations to have it amended.
A suggestion to legalize consensual buggery among adult was submitted to the committee, however, it was denied.
MiriDom, which has been calling on the government to repeal sections of the Act that make consensual buggery illegal, wants to know why the suggestion was denied.
“Why they would still keep buggery, whether between man and woman or man and man on the books of the laws of Dominica…it’s nothing that anybody could do about it,” Phillip said on privately-owned Q-95’s The Hot Seat on Thursday. “Even if they rejected it, that doesn’t mean that people still wouldn’t have their natural sexual urges that they would like to exercise, so it’s not like because a committee says something that everything is just going to go away.”
He added, “So you put the law and you don’t put the law against consenting adults that are having an affair in the privacy of their home. Are you going to break down their door to come in to see them doing it? Will one of them complain to say you forced yourself on me? Or is it just a fuel to encourage people to try to blackmail others.”
He stated that the law impedes on people’s rights to sexual freedom, which he said is a human right.
He added that members of MiriDom are getting tired of all the “unreasoned arguments” on the matter.
“And some people think that we are just not ready as a society to discuss this,” Phillip noted.
He said MiriDom awaits “reasoning” from the committee as to why consensual buggery among adults in Dominica buggery has been rejected.
“It is because the bible say so?” he asked. “The bible says a lot of different things and it is not in the laws of Dominica …..”
The government has made it clear that buggery will never be legalized in Dominica.
In 2013, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that buggery laws on the books will not be repealed pointing out that he has not heard any ‘compelling’ argument to support such move. In 2014, he also made it clear that same-sex marriages will not be accepted by his government, pointing out that “certain guiding principles” must be followed in that matter.
MiriDoM has always said that sections of the Sexual Offenses Act discriminates against people because of their sexual preferences,” noting that everybody should be treated equally.