The Barbados High Court Monday issued an oral judgement striking down two laws which effectively criminalized gay sex in the island nation. Sections 9 and 12 of the Barbados Sexual Offences Act of 1992 criminalized “buggery” and acts of “serious indency” with penalties of up to life imprisonment and ten years in prison, respectively. According to advocacy organization the Human Dignity Trust, Section 9 applied only to men, but Section 12 criminalized same-sex sexual activity for men and women.Organizations like Human Dignity Trust, Equals Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) have “doggedly pursued justice” for LGBT people throughout the region. ECADE celebrated the ruling, saying it “consolidates the rights of all Barbadians to privacy and freedom of expression, and impacts LGBTQ+ people across the eastern Caribbean.”One litigant in the case told Human Dignity Trust:Today was a pivotal moment for equality for all Barbadians and one more step in the journey towards more inclusivity for LGBT citizens. This will definitely mean that I and my community can navigate life with just a little more ease and comfort, in the knowledge that Barbados has taken a step to understand us and respect us.Caribbean nations Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis also decriminalized same-sex intimacy this year, but criminal penalties remain in Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.The High Court is expected to release a written judgement in January 2023.

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