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Haiti Bill Aims To Imprison For Same-Sex Marriage, Public Support Of LGBTQ Rights

Haiti/Pride Flag

Haiti is among the latest countries to join what seems to be a worldwide trend of scaling back LGBTQ rights. A bill calling for imprisonment for same-sex marriage and public demonstrations of support for LGBTQ citizens just passed in the country’s Senate. The bill would also implement an $8,000 fine in addition to the prison sentence, which can be up to three years.

Haitian LGBTQ organization, Kouraj, is adamant in preventing such a proposal from becoming law.

“We have the right to protest and we have the right to be who we are and we have the right to be free,” said Charlot Jeudy, a spokesperson for Kouraj according to The Washington Post.

Thus far, the org has been compiling signatures for a petition to eradicate the bill. While same-sex marriage has been illegal in Haiti, the bill is a much crueler method of denouncing the LGBTQ community. Haitian LGBTQ individuals were forced to be reminded of their country’s prejudice in November when a festival akin to that of Pride celebrations was cancelled. The Port-au-Prince government official who banned the event said it would contradict the country’s principles.
Aside from the anti-LGBTQ culture in the Caribbean country, Haiti has also been undergoing a number of other crises. In October, Hurricane Matthew took the lives of more than 500 Haitians. According to the BBC, 90 percent of southern Haiti was destroyed by the hurricane.
In November, Haiti elected Jovenel Moise as its president which sparked violent protests. Moise lacked any political experience and previously worked as a banana exporter.