LGBT rights in Dominica
|LGBT rights in Dominica|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Illegal|
|10 years' imprisonment for buggery between men, 4 years' imprisonment for attempted buggery between men, 5 years' imprisonment for gross indecency. Convictions for buggery or attempted buggery can be accompanied by compulsory admission to a psychiatric hospital.|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Dominica face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.
Illegality of homosexuality
Between 1995 and 2000, 35 people were arrested by local authorities and charged with buggery. The courts sentenced all the offenders to fines and prison sentences up to ten years. Some were sent to local psychiatric hospitals for treatment.
In 2001, 15 females were arrested for engaging in same-sex sexual acts, charged with the crime of gross indecency, and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. That same year, ten males were sentenced to five years' imprisonment for engaging in gross indecency with people of the same sex.
The Sexual Offenses Act 1998 has two sections dealing with same-sex sexual activity.
Section 14. (1) Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with another person is guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to imprisonment for five years.
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(4) In this section, "gross indecency" is an act other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural) by a person involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.
Section 16. (1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to imprisonment for -
(a) twenty-five years, if committed by an adult on a minor;
(b) ten years, if committed by an adult on another adult;
(c) five years, if committed by a minor;
and if the Court thinks it fit, the Court may order that the convicted person be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
(2) Any person who attempts to commit the offence of buggery, or is guilty of an assault with intent to commit the same, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for four years, and, if the Court thinks it fit, the Court may order that the convicted person be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
(3) In this section, "buggery" means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person....
Opposition to gay tourists
Bill Daniel, President of the Evangelical Association speaking on behalf of the group, made the following statement in 2009: "We want the government to ensure that gay tourists do not come to the island and conduct themselves in any immoral way." The Association protested against allowing gay cruises to visit the island and promoting Dominica as a ‘gay tourist destination’.
There have been suspected hate crimes against individuals believed to be homosexuals in Dominica. Persons in a dispute may use derogatory words like ‘buggerman’ or ‘battyman’ to refer to ‘effeminate’ men.
In 2010 a Portsmouth (Dominica) man, Clement James, was stabbed to death after being accused of ‘watching’ his male assailant in a public place. The accused, Davis St Jean, allegedly had a habit of singing and preaching aloud in the street about killing gay people. Before stabbing Clement, he reportedly said ‘all battie boi must dead’.
A 2011 academic submission to the United Nations stated that LGBT groups in Dominica are forced to operate underground because of fear that their members will be victimised. Members who are openly gay complain of acts of vandalism committed against their property. Reports made to the police are not taken seriously and the victims are sometimes ridiculed.
- Politics of Dominica
- LGBT rights in the Commonwealth of Nations
- LGBT rights in La Francophonie
- LGBT rights in the Americas
- LGBT rights by country or territory
- State Sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws criminalising same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults, The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, edited by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, May 2012, page 58
- Sexual Offenses Act 1998, Parliament of the Commonwealth of Dominica
- [Carter, Ellsworth, ‘Gay Cruises Draw Protest in the Caribbean’ The Associated Press (November 10th 2008) < http://www.gossiprocks.com/forum/little-big-world/30103-gay-cruises-draw-protests- caribbean.html.> Accessed June 18th 2011.]
- "A SHADOW REPORT ON THE VIOLATION OF ICCPR OBLIGATIONS RELATING TO LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER PERSONS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA", Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee in July 2011, page 10.
- "A SHADOW REPORT ON THE VIOLATION OF ICCPR OBLIGATIONS RELATING TO LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER PERSONS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA", Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee in July 2011, page 13.