PM hints at referendum to decriminalise homosexuality

By Juhel Browne CCN Senior Multimedia Journalist in New York
September 25, 2014 –

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-BissessarPrime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the “decriminalisation of homosexuality” in Trinidad and Tobago is not something her administration will seek to do because, “it would not be prudent for the Government to proceed in that direction at this time”.

“It’s too divided, there’s no consensus on that issue,” Persad-Bissessar said during an interview-styled forum at the Trinidad and Tobago Investment Forum at Pratt House in New York, USA.

Persad-Bissessar said it is not an issue for the Government to decide at this time but one that “the people must decide”.

“And, therefore it may require what is known as a referendum,” Persad-Bissessar said.

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8 Responses to “GAYS MUST WAIT”

  • PM: Let citizens decide if to change anti-gay laws

    By Julien Neaves
    September 26, 2014 –

    PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yesterday that it is the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago who must decide on the issue of decriminalising of homosexual behaviour.

    “I think that is an issue that is not for the Government to decide at this time in our country. It is an issue that the people must decide and it is one that therefore may require a referendum to get the views of the people. Our personal views are not good enough,” she said.

    She continued: “And it is in that regard we have held this in abeyance for the time being given the very divided views in Trinidad and Tobago at this time.”

    She was responding to questions during an interview with Washington-based radio hostess, Lakshmi Singh, during the Trinidad and Tobago Investment Conference at Pratt House, Manhattan, New York. Singh noted that gay rights advocates have been intensifying their campaign in the Caribbean to decriminalise their sexuality and she questioned “what has been your Government’s specific response to this growing trend?”

    Persad-Bissessar responded: “That’s a very touchy, a very sensitive issue.” She noted that before this current administration came into office there was a gender policy that was produced “which has not seen the light of day because the previous government faced many persons who were against it — issues for decriminalising gays”.

    She said the current Government “picked it up and dusted it off” and put it out for discussions “but again we faced tremendous opposition especially from the Roman Catholic group”.

    Questioned later by the Trinidad and Tobago media if a referendum is legally possible she responded “at this moment no it is not legally possible”.

    “The draft gender policy came to the Cabinet (and) discussed at length, (but) as I’m saying given the very divided voices in Trinidad and Tobago it would not be prudent for Government to proceed in that direction,” she said.

    Pressed on whether the decriminalisation was being considered she repeated “it would not be prudent to proceed in that direction at this time”.

    “It’s too divided. There’s no consensus on an issue as sensitive as that,” she added.

    The Trinidad-based lesbians, gay, bisexuals and transsexual (LGBT) lobby group Coalition for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) has been campaigning since 2011 for the decriminalisation of homosexual behaviour.

    In May this year Jamaican attorney Maurice Tomlinson, who is gay, was granted special leave by the Caribbean Court of Justice to commence proceedings against Belize and Trinidad and Tobago on their immigration laws banning entry to homosexuals.

    As an activist for the LGBT community, Tomlinson had travelled to both countries previously, but when he discovered the existence of the prohibitions he decided to refuse invitations from either country to avoid violating their immigration laws “and he claims to have suffered prejudice thereby”. A date is to be set for the actual trial.


  • Christianity is a choice, and religion is something you were taught. Homosexuality is something you were born with. Homosexuality is a human characteristic not a crime.people do not choose to be gay , they are born with combinations of genetic chromosomes which determine their sexuality. There are gay fruit flies in our environment. Did they make that choice?
    The Prime Minister is adopting a cowardly, convenient, political position to continue denying gay rights which have been already been allowed in western civilizations.Gay rights are human rights.

    • Easy to sat that when you are not the PM

    • Boohoo…..Hoooooo, ahhhhhhhh, sniff, sniff!
      What do you know folks , for our TMan is getting his jockstrap in a twist, because his PM choose to ignore numerous supporters that make up her fast depleting base , and in de process,gave gays de symbolic middle finger.
      This bastard ain’t give a hoot, about blatant racial discrimination as played out by members of his tribe, but is trying to convince us , he cares about gays .
      Give it a rest mi amigo!

  • Are we saying that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah comes to nothing when it is clearly stated that the Lord loves the sinner but not the sin?

    • There are no scientific data to support homosexuality as a genetically base human condition. Most gays become that way because of early childhood experience. Although I have met some who appears to be that way, their voice and other assets are not manly or womanly, leaving me to think of a third species yet to be studied in detail.

      I knew of a two fellas who had that leaning towards homosexuality due to childhood experiences, they both went on to get married. Then I knew the man who covered his head like a woman and had an ornie on. He was a man trapped in woman body. He we would say belong to the third species. And yet I know of young man who was highly educated and simply functioned as a third species.

      The third species I prefer to call juniper. I think calling them homo or transsexual is insulting, just call them juniper.

  • Mamoo, my friend, you are totally misinformed when you make a dumb statement that no scientific data supports homosexuality as a genetically based human condition.
    Do your research before you spout such garbage. There is ample scientific evidence to support genetic disorders in humans leading to human sexual deviance, I really mean difference. Gays are people too,struggling with their difference and their isolation in society.
    As a professional in the field of psychology, I have had to deal with numerous so called deviants who are good people struggling with genetic mal-adaptations in our society.You seem to be trivializing the experiences of gays. Please recognize that they are real human beings existing in societies which resent them.When our PM takes a safe position to depend on a referendum which would probably never be held, she is abdicating her responsibility to a community of people who deserves better.It is not their choice or their fault. Genetics and science make these determinations.

  • Sex is a choice. If someone is mentally ill, then the mental illnesse needs to be addressed. Loyal Trini, that is exactly what western states are saying. They have devalued religion in its importance to government and governance of citizens.
    Basically, the gay agenda will eventually force TNT to change the laws. Its a matter of time.

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