Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Barbados face legal risks not experienced by non-LGBT citizens. Homosexual acts are illegal in Barbados, with a life sentence; but the law is rarely enforced. The law is currently in effect, but under review. Recent polls conducted by Caribbean Development Research Services Inc. (CADRES) have found Barbadians to be more tolerant than previous years.
In 2011[update] the Bajan government said it was investigating claims that some gay Bajans were seeking refugee status to Canada. The Bajan minister for Foreign Affairs, Maxine McClean stated a concern of the government at these applications attempting to secure refugee status in Canada since two of the nine applications to the Canadian government had already been denied and questions surround whether it is an attempt at abusing the refugee system to Canada. The Bajan organisation United Gays and Lesbians Against AIDS, Barbados (UGLAAB) stated it to was also looking to conduct its own investigation on the same allegations. One anonymous story in the Bajan media by a past applicant stated their attempt to lie about so called persecution in order to bolster their refugee application but stated their attempt had failed.
The resident U.S.ambassador later commented to the local press that some of the other nations in region were among the highest number of such refugee applications to the United States, but he went on to say that the U.S. Embassy to Bridgetown had not yet reported any specific problems within Barbados to the U.S. State Department. The ambassador highlighted that sodomy laws were a part of statute law for Barbados and that the Barbadian government should perhaps consider formally retiring those laws to maintain Barbados' good image internationally.
In 2011 the Prime Minister of Britain stated during a Commonwealth of Nations Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia that his government would find it difficult to provide aid for countries which still had laws banning buggery on their statute books. Thereafter, the Attorney General for Barbados stated publicly that Barbados would not be dictated to by the U.K. Following the statement several members of Barbados' openly gay community stated that Barbados should begin to offer packaged tourism deals for gay tourists.Dear: Cash in gay tourism However an informal comment line by the Barbados Nation newspaper found that plan to be disliked by some.TALK BACK: Readers see no reason to focus on gay tourism
Following Britain's comment, the Washington, D.C. based Inter-American Court for Human Right established a unit to tackle gay rights. It noted the problem some of the laws in the region presented stated that it would "promote the harmonious development of all its work areas based on the interdependence and indivisibility of all human rights and the need to protect the rights of all individuals and groups historically subjected to discrimination."
^Staff (April 2010). "Travel & living abroad (Barbados) - Local laws and customs". Foreign & Commonwealth Office (UK). Retrieved 7 April 2010. "Barbados, in common with much of the English speaking Caribbean, has a very conservative attitude to homosexuality and homophobic views are unfortunately common. Contrary to popular belief, homosexuality itself is not illegal although sodomy remains a criminal offence. However, the penalties set out in the 1992 Sexual Offences Act concerning sexual relations between members of the same sex are rarely enforced when this takes place in private. There is no overtly public gay scene in Barbados and no gay and lesbian publications. However, many gay Bajans couples are known and live together without problems by maintaining a low profile."