DAVID CLARKE, of Action Canada for Population and Development, said the Government’s commitment to hold consultations on issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people over the next two years was welcome. In relation to the Government’s efforts in 2003, the attempt to include "sexual orientation" in the Guyana Constitution as a basis for discrimination was not a genuine one, as the Government presented this in a separate bill from all other new grounds for the consideration of the National Assembly and signalled its intention not to support the sexual orientation bill. This saw the bill flounder without any vote being taken on it. It would be erroneous to say that there was no State-sanctioned discrimination based on sexual orientation in Guyana – there were discriminatory laws which legitimised and perpetuated socio-cultural prejudices and facilitated extortion, blackmail, violence and other violations by the uniformed forces and private citizens alike.
BJORN VAN ROOSENDAHL, of European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, urged Belarus to accept and implement the recommendations to promote the equality of all people, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and to include those grounds in anti-discrimination programmes. Belarus should provide sensitivity training to police, judicial and other authorities as to promote respect for all persons, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission reiterated the various calls made during the Working Group process to guarantee the freedom of expression, assembly and association for all citizens, including for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who were not granted permission for a peaceful demonstration in Minsk earlier this year.
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