Antigua's Buggery Law Unlikely To Change

Published: October 3, 2011

Antigua St John’s – “I don’t care what happens in Belize, there will be no change in the law on buggery in Antigua & Barbuda. At least not if I can help it. Being gay is morally wrong, and to be honest personally, I am still homophobic.

I know they are going to ask me this same question at the Human Rights United Nations meeting I am attending, and I will give them the same answer," Attorney General Justin Simon said.

“Besides, the churches and the public will cry murder if that would happen. I can tell you that," he added.

In 2005, Simon added an anti-corruption piece to the legislation in regard to fraud. When he defined partner, he included same sex partners. He clarified that he was only covering all the bases, and that in no way was he encouraging gay relationships. But still, according to the AG, the churches came to see the prime minister over the issue and the radio stations had a field day with it.

Simon was responding to the judicial review of the buggery law presently being mounted in Belize. The buggery law in Antigua falls under the sexual offences act of 1995, and states that a person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment a) for life, if committed by an adult on a minor; b) for 15 years if committed by an adult on another adult; or c) for five years if committed by an minor.

"Buggery” means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.

Section b calls for revision on the grounds of human rights. “If the government tells me to change the law, I will of course, but now is not the time, perhaps later down the road," Simon said. "Antigua is still very much led by male and church influences.” According to Simon, the law doesn’t require attention, as Antiguans condone homosexuality on a basis of "if you don’t trouble me I don’t trouble you."

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