PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender (GLBT) people in Trinidad and Tobago are calling on the government to decriminalise homosexuality.
The community, which is reportedly made up of thousands of people, is tired of being treated like second-class citizens, Colin Robinson, spokesman for the Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO), said.
The Express newspaper reported that in a telephone interview Robinson said, while they appreciate the call by Gender Affairs Minister Mary King for a national debate on same-sex marriages, it is not what they need.
“The government isn’t listening and has its priorities wrong. We’ve consistently given the government six national priorities — this was never one,” he said.
“We’ve consistently asked for action to prevent discrimination and violence, for attention to homelessness, to make schools safe for young people, to train police. We’ve repeatedly asked them to listen and consult, and offered our help with building a nation for everyone, but they have not heard us,” he continued.
Robinson said while being able to get married would be nice, it was really “putting the cart before the horse”. He said, while the government does not need to amend the Sexual Offences Act or decriminalise sexual activities to protect GLBT people from discrimination and violence, “It probably would be appropriate to decriminalise some offences of sexuality and homosexual behaviour before looking at the recognition of same-sex relationships.”