Statement by Guyana – Eighth Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of Guyana
Questions on Discrimination Against Lesbians Gays Bisexuals Transgender and Capital Punishment
Mr. President, the Government of Guyana is opposed to all forms of discrimination and encourages persons to use the complaints mechanisms available. The Government has not received through any of its complaints mechanisms, cases of harassment of lesbians and gays. There has been one case of a person being charged for cross dressing and the matter is still before the Court.
Mr. President, you will appreciate that changes to our laws on a matter as taboo as this one requires widespread consultation and a major change in attitude of the populace. Indeed Mr. President, in 2003 the Government attempted to include the phrase “sexual orientation” in the anti-discrimination clause of the Constitution. We had no choice but to exclude it after the draft Bill was received with widespread consternation and a series of protests by a wide cross section of the population. This is an issue that will take time before it can be addressed.
Similarly the issue of capital punishment is met by an overwhelming call for its retention in the law books. This is so notwithstanding the fact that no executions have been carried out in the last ten years. Any change in the status quo will be done with the involvement and acceptance of the public.
-Full text of statement can be found at link below-