Metro Weekly

Barbados politician feels “harassed” by calls for LGBTQ equality

Minister said that the Barbados is accepting of LGBTQ people, despite some of world's strictest anti-sodomy laws

Barbados Parliament — Photo: Paul Cook / Flickr

A government minister in Barbados believes straight people are being “harassed” in the fight for LGBTQ equality.

According to Caribbean Life, Steve Blackett, Minister of Social Care and Community Development, told “external forces and internal forces” that marriage equality would never happen in Barbados.

He also said that calls for equality had left straight people feeling “marginalized” and “harassed.”

“This LGBT lobby is so insistent, so persistent, claiming this community is being marginalized and stigmatized,” he said. “They have been so insistent and persistent that I, as a straight person, you as a straight person, we’re beginning to feel marginalized, harassed and stigmatized by them.”

Despite having some of the strictest anti-sodomy laws in the world, Blackett said that Barbados is tolerant of the LGBTQ community.

“If you want to be same-sex, that’s your business… nothing wrong with that at all. Barbados has always been tolerant to homosexuals among us,” Blackett said. “They are our relatives, our family or friends, our kith and kin, our hairdressers, our tailors…Same-sex relationships in most neighborhoods are nothing new.”

However, Blackett went on to contradict himself, saying that he considers transplanting the “foreign culture” of same-sex marriage into Barbados a degradation of the country’s values.

“That is what I have a problem with. We must also watch this creeping attempt to offend and insult our moral sensitivities here in Barbados,” he said.

A Human Rights Watch report this month found that LGBTQ people on seven Caribbean Islands, including Barbados, are “targets for discrimination, violence and abuse.” The report went on to say that the countries need to repeal their “colonial-era laws.”

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