The United Nations' plea to end the
practice of criminalizing being gay was heard this week in the
Caribbean, reports the Spanish news agency EFE.
On Thursday, the U.N. special envoy on
HIV/AIDS told a multifaith gathering in Georgetown that Caribbean
governments need to repeal laws against being gay.
“I believe that the existence of
these laws contribute to infected and potentially infected men not
coming forward to be tested, and I believe and I will propose that
such laws be revised,” Sir George Alleyne said.
But Alleyne admitted that few Caribbean
politicians were willing to tackle the issue of homophobia, which he
called one of the “most egregious manifestations of stigma and
Officials in the region called the
subject a “political mine-field.”
Vatican officials have been critical of
a U.N. Resolution – introduced by French officials – that calls
for the universal decriminalization of being gay. Church officials
said they feared the resolution would promote gay marriage.
The agency has issued a similar plea to
India where a court there is looking at the issue.
More than 80 countries have laws
against homosexuality, including nine that prescribe death as
“While we have made certain types of
social advances in the region, this is an area where many governments
have indicated that their citizens are not quite at a position where
they can endorse some of the kinds of broad-based legislation which
has been endorsed in Europe and other places,” the Caribbean
Community's program manager for Health Sector Development, Dr.
Rudolph Cummings, said at a subsequent news conference.