B-GLAD backing AG
Support for govt’s move to change death penalty legislation
The group representing gays has thrown its support behind Government’s move to stop the death penalty from being compulsory for murder.
But it has insisted that the same way Barbados is moving to comply with that aspect of the Inter-American Convention of Human Rights (IACHR), it should also fall in line with other sections that would protect members of their community.
Executive director of the Barbados –– Gays, Lesbians, and All-Sexuals against Discrimination (B-GLAD) Donnya Piggott has urged Government to remove legislation such as the contentious Buggery Law and the Serious Indecency Law from the statute books.
“As Barbados makes the effort to reconcile this one law with the IACHR that has many different treaties and articles, we would hope that the other existing laws that violate the convention will too be amended or abolished. Certainly, anything besides that would be a monstrous avoidance of common sense,” she said.
“We welcome [Attorney General] Adriel Brathwaite as he makes moves to bring Barbados’ law in tandem with the ratified Inter-American Convention of Human Rights. However, B-GLAD wishes to remind him that the existing and contentious Buggery Law and the Serious Indecency Law which both lie within the Sexual Offences Act of Barbados’ constitution is in violation to Article 11 of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, which is the right to privacy. This article states that ‘no one may be the object of arbitrary or abusive interference with his private life, his family, his home, or his correspondence, or of unlawful attacks on his honor or reputation’.”
Piggott added that the lack of legislation, which protects members of Barbados’ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community from being attacked, discriminated against, persecuted or violated because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, could also be seen as Barbados being in violation of Article 24 of the American Convention on Human Rights which addresses the right to equal protection.
Her comments came three days after the House of Assembly began debate on amendments to the Offences Against the Persons Act which would remove the mandatory nature of the death penalty.
Piggott said B-GLAD agreed that the death penalty was a denial of the most basic human rights and violates one of the most fundamental principles under widely accepted human rights law –– the right to life.
“As Barbados begins to progress and become a more developed country, we must do away with laws which are not sensible and laws that reflect badly on the stance of Barbados,” she said.
“Though the complete removal of the law is still a human rights issue, one must commend the Attorney General for removing this piece of legislation that clearly does not reflect the actions of how justice is carried out in Barbados.”