No change to laws on gay sex or prostitution in St Lucia

Sarah Flood-Beaubrun

External Affairs Minister Sarah Flood-Beaubrun has reiterated her position on the changing of gay sex and prostitution laws in St Lucia.

Currently engaging in consensual gay sex could lead to up to 10 years in prison for men.

Speaking at a Caribbean Center for Family and Human Rights (CARIFAM) meeting, the minister said that the government will stick to its decision to refrain from decriminalising buggery and prostitution despite mounting pressure from international countries and organisations.

During her delivery at the meeting, she quoted an excerpt from a speech presented by ex-United Nations Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS, Dr Edward Green, who had called for a regional approach to decriminalising buggery and prostitution in the Caribbean.

She said that after hearing Dr. Green’s speech she contacted fellow board members of CARIFAM and said that St Lucia will remain resolute in its stance and, “even if it’s a long struggle in some countries, this is one country that we will continue struggling.”

“The CARICOM countries are coming under increasing international pressure to do that… He is saying ‘politicians remain wary of losing votes’. Now I have left politics, but once a politician, always a politician. So I was thinking, politicians remain wary of losing votes?”

The minister also questioned Dr Green’s “bizarre statistic” that 20% of the population of Caribbean countries is gay, and called upon him to explain that disclosure, as have been asked of him in the past.

Flood-Beaubrun is the founder of CARIFAM, a non-profit charitable entity, which looks to protect the family, human rights and dignity.

Since first opposing a change in buggery laws, the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community has criticised her on social media.

There is no recognition of same-sex relationships in St Lucia, and the island was the only UN member in the Americas to formally oppose the UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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