Wednesday 5 August, 2020

St Lucia ranked the 12th worst country for LGBT travelers

In a study of the world’s most dangerous countries for LBGT travelers to visit, St Lucia ranked at number 12 out of 150, second-worst in the Caribbean to Barbados, which was ranked at 8. 

The study titled ‘The Worst & Safest Countries for LGBTQ+ Travel in 2019 was published on a travel blog, Asher & Lyric earlier this week.

“Instead of relying on hearsay and anecdotes from other travelers, we took a deep look at LGBTQ+ rights, country by country. We’ve gathered data from a variety of trusted international sources to create a LGBTQ+ Danger Index…”

The article noted the Danger Index was created using eight factors which were: whether a country has legalized same-sex marriages, workers protections and protection against discrimination for LGBT persons, criminalization of violence, adoption policies for LGBT persons, level of living comfort, criminalization of same-sex relationships and propaganda or morality laws.

A point system was used to demerit countries which have not implemented LGBT-friendly policies.

Coming in at number twelve was St Lucia with a score of -110 and a grade of F on the Danger Index. The study noted that the legislation in St Lucia criminalizes same-sex acts.

Recently, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet spoke on the buggery law saying, “This is something that we are going to continue to review, but my Government does not have an official position on it as yet.”

He continued, “But as you will know, nobody has been arrested under that law in St Lucia. We are a Catholic society and I think every country is entitled to have its own positions, and therefore, this idea that everybody should be harmonised on these issues — we have seen countries which have gone and decriminalised buggery and have now reversed their position; we have seen other countries which have just remained constant.”

The methodology used in the index does not sample the actual experiences of LGBT tourists. That St Lucia would rank as more dangerous than for example Uganda, where an LGBT activist was recently killed, and where arrests of LGBT people are actually being made is worth noting in terms of credibility.

Other Caribbean territories were also included in the poll including Jamaica at number 18, Turks & Caicos at 45, The Bahamas at 46 and Cayman Islands at 53.

In a statement, the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) recently announced plans to launch legal challenges to “draconian laws” related to buggery and indecency laws in five Caribbean countries: Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and St Lucia.

ECADE said the premise of the legal challenge was due to the fact that legislation unfairly targets LGBT people in the Caribbean.

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