Dominica does not enforce its law against homosexual activity, at least in private homes, and has no plans to do so, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says.
In a recent statement to the Caribbean Media Corporation, the Dominica leader denied reports that police have threatened to arrest people at home during same-sex intercourse.
“This has never happened in Dominica and I don’t think that will be happening any time now or later,” he said.
On paper, same-sex intimacy is illegal both for men and women in the Caribbean island nation. Dominican law provides for a 10-year prison sentence for anal intercourse whether involving heterosexual or homosexual couples.
Skerrit says that law is not enforced in private homes, and will not be.
In 2012, a gay couple from Palm Springs, California, were arrested in Dominica after police said they were seen having sex on the balcony of their cabin during a gay cruise that was in port in Dominica. They were released from jail after pleading guilty to indecent exposure.
In addition, Pink News reports as recently as 2001, 15 women were arrested for same-sex sexual acts, charged with the crime of gross indecency, and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. That same year, 10 men were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for engaging in same-sex activity, Pink News said.
The CMC reported that the local activist group, Minority Rights Dominica, or MiriDom, is seeking repeal of Dominica’s buggery law as a form of discrimination against people because of their sexual preferences.
Skerrit said he would meet with the group to discuss its recommendations.
“We are prepared to meet with MiriDom at any time. We will seek to contact them again and arrange for the Minister for Social Services and myself to meet and discuss with them,” he said.
Also in the interview, Skerrit said his government is opposed to same-sex marriage.
“We will never allow for the state to recognise same-sex marriage in our country. If other countries want to do it, that’s a matter for them but there are certain guiding principles that we must follow,” he said.
- Catholic bishop in Dominica: End anti-homosexuality laws (76crimes.com)
- Signs of Caribbean progress for Catholics, LGBT rights (76crimes.com)
- Jamaica: Evicted, gay man aims to overturn sodomy law (76crimes.com)
- US man tells of ‘humiliating’ arrest in Dominica (Associated Press)
- Priest: Transform shame in Dominica into change (76crimes.com)
- Dominica PM says no to same-sex marriage (Jamaica Observer)
- Dominica Prime Minister: ‘We will never accept same-sex marriage’ (Pink News)