Guyana Removes Anti-LGBTQ Laws

A Guyanese law that punished people for dressing as the opposite was recently overturned, as the court believed that the law does not belong in modern times, according to Pink News.

The decision came about after the law was challenged by four transgender women who were arrested in 2009. They were punished for cross-dressing in public, fined approximately $100 each, and told by a judge to "go to church and gives their lives to Jesus." The court sided with the women and said that the law treated transgender and gender non-conforming people unfairly based on their gender identity and expression. It also found that what the judge said to the women was inappropriate. The court ruled that the law was created during a "different time and no longer served any legitimate purpose in Guyana" and that it was "unconstitutionally vague, violated the appellants’ right to protection of the law and was contrary to the rule of law.”

The judge in this case, Justice Adrian Dudley Saunders, said that society changes and, because of that, the constitution should be read in whole and that courts should be mindful of using the constitution in a way that is not intended, such as using it to justify discrimination against certain people.

Out of the twelve countries in South America, Guyana is the only one in which homosexuality is still as they follow laws under a colonial-era penal code. In Guyana, men who have sex with other men could technically serve life in prison under the penal code. However, many Guyanese people question how valid such laws still are in the modern era and LGBTQ activists are fighting for homosexuality to be decriminalized. By striking down the anti-trans law, the Guyanese government is showing that they are open to supporting LGBTQ rights, which may lead to the decriminalization of homosexuality. 


h/t: Pink News

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