Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

'Gay Discrimination' Outlawed in the Bahamas?

Report calls for gay discrimination to be outlawed By ROGAN M. SMITH, Guardian Senior
Reporter, rogan@nasguard.com

A U.S. human rights report is urging The Bahamas to make it illegal to discriminate against people in employment, housing or public accommodations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The report, which was released last week, said that there is still no legislation to address the continuing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in The Bahamas. Although homosexual relations between consenting adults is legal in The Bahamas, there is no legislation to address the group's social rights. In March 2006, the Constitutional Review Commission ruled that sexual orientation did not deserve protection against discrimination. Societal discrimination against homosexuals also continues. Last September, religious organizations and individual activists opposed a request by a gay rights group for the cable monopoly to add a gay and lesbian channel to its programming, the report noted. The request triggered a backlash against the homosexual community. In the ensuing media controversy, some opponents called for the re-criminalizing of homosexual acts, and religious leaders criticized a major newspaper for giving what they considered "undue" coverage to the gay rights group.

The organizer of a gay and lesbian cruise accused authorities of harassment, after a party at a downtown club was shut down on October 7, due to alleged lewd behavior and immigration violations. However, police officials denied inappropriate conduct. The report also said that sensationalistic media reporting of reputed gay links in two high-profile murders in Nassau in November, under police investigation at year's end, reflected the atmosphere of societal intolerance. Last year, fashion noted handbag designer Harl Taylor and College of the Bahamas (COB) dean, Dr. Thaddeus McDonald were murdered in their homes. Their murderers have still not been found. The full contents of the report can be found online at http://www.state.gov under Human Rights: Annual Reports Released.http://www.thenassauguardian.com/nat...0416855343.php

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