Americas

Countries where Homosexuality is still a Crime

(in alphabetical order)

In the Americas, there are 10 countries that still criminalise homosexuality. Of these 7 have ratified the ICCPR, but only 4 have submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the UN Human Rights Committee by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the ICCPR.

State

 

Domestic law[*]

 

Penalty

 

Ratified

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[†]

Ratified

Optional Protocol to the ICCPR[†]

Antigua and Barbuda

Antiguan

Sexual Offences Act of 1995 (Act No. 9)

Article 12: Buggery

“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment –

(a) for life, if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) for fifteen years, if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) for five years, if committed by a minor.

(2) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.”

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) life if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) 15 years if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) 5 years if committed by a minor.

Article 15: Serious indecency

“(1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment –

(a) for ten years, if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age;

(b) for five years, if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more,

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between –

(a) a husband and his wife; or

(b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more;

(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for a term of:(a) 10 years if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age;

(b) 5 years if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more.

Barbados

Barbados

Sexual Offences Act 1992

Chapter 154

Section 9: Buggery

“Any person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

Imprisonment for life

5 Jan 1973

5 Jan 1973

Section 12: Serious indecency

“(1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another or incites another to commit that act with the person or with another person is guilty of
an offence and, if committed on or towards a person 16 years of age or more or if the person incited is of 16 years of age or more, is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.

(2) A person who commits an act of serious indecency with or towards a child under the age of 16 or incites the child under that age to such an act with him or another, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 15 years.

(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, whether natural or unnatural by a person involving the use of the genital organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for 10 years

Imprisonment for 15 years

Dominica

Dominica

Sexual Offences Act 1998

Section 14: Gross Indecency


“(1) Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with another person is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of gross indecency committed in private between an adult male person and an adult female person, both of whom consent.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) –
an act shall be deemed not to have been committed in private if it is committed in a public place; and
 a person shall be deemed not to consent to the commission of such an act if –
the consent is extorted by force, threats or fear of bodily harm or is obtained by false and fraudulent representations as to the nature of the act;

the consent is induced by the application or administration of any drug, matter or thing with intent to intoxicate or stupefy the person; or
that person is, and the other party to the act knows or has good reason to believe that the person is suffering from a mental disorder.

(4) In this section “gross indecency” is an act other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural) by a person involving the use of genital organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

17 Jun 1993

Section 16: Buggery
“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for– twenty-five years, if committed by an adult on a minor;
ten years, if committed by an adult on another adult; or
 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 the 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 the psychiatric hospital for treatment.

(3) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.”

(1) Imprisonment for a term of:(a) 25 years if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) 10 years if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) 5 years if committed by a minor

Admission to a psychiatric hospital if ordered by a court

(2) Imprisonment for 4 years

Admission to a psychiatric hospital is ordered by a court

Grenada

Grenada

Criminal Code of 1987 as amended in 1993

Article 431

“If any two persons are guilty of unnatural connexion, or if any person is guilty of an unnatural connexion with any animal, every such person shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years”.

Imprisonment for 10 years

6 Sep 1991

Guyana

Guyana

Criminal Law (Offences) Act (Available at the Guyana Ministry of Legal Affairs website)

Section 352: Committing acts of gross indecency with male person

“Any male person, who in public or private, commits, or 
is a party to the commission, or procures or attempts to procure the commission, by any male person, of an act of gross indecency with any other male person shall be guilty of misdemeanour and liable to imprisonment for two years.”

Imprisonment for 2 years

15 Feb 1977

5 Jan 1999

Section 353: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Everyone who –

(a) attempts to commit buggery; or

(b) assaults any person with the intention to commit buggery; or

(c) being a male, indecently assaults any other male person, shall be guilty of felony and liable to imprisonment for ten years.”

Imprisonment for 10 years
Section 354: Buggery

“Everyone who commits buggery, either with a human being or with any other living creature, shall be guilty of felony and liable to imprisonment for life.”

Imprisonment for life

Jamaica

Jamaica

Offences Against the Person Act

Article 76: Unnatural Crime

“Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery [anal intercourse] committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years

3 Oct 1975

Article 77: Attempt

“Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, with or without hard labour.”

Article 78: Proof of Carnal Knowledge

“Whenever upon the trial of any offence punishable under this Act, it may be necessary to prove carnal knowledge, it shall not be necessary to prove the actual emission of seed in order to constitute a carnal knowledge, but the carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete upon proof of penetration only.”

Imprisonment for up to 7 years, with or without hard labour
Article 79: Outrages on Decency

“Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 2 years, with or without hard labour.”

Imprisonment for up to 2 years, with or without hard labour

Saint Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts

Offences against the Person Act

The Revised Laws prescribe terms of imprisonment
 of up to ten years, with or without hard labor, upon conviction for engaging in anal sex, described as “the abominable crime of buggery.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years, with or without hard labour

Attempted “buggery” is sanctioned by up to four years imprisonment, with or without hard labor, as is “any indecent assault upon any male person.” The latter, which is in no way defined, is subject to arbitrary interpretation. It could potentially encompass any behavior perceived as a homosexual advance. Imprisonment for up to 4 years, with or without hard labour

Saint Lucia

St Lucia

Criminal Code, No. 9 of 2004 (Effective January 1, 2005)

Section 132: Gross indecency

“(1) Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with another person commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for ten years or on summary conviction to five years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of gross indecency committed in private between an adult male person and an adult female person, both of whom consent.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) —

(a) an act shall be deemed not to have been committed in private if it is committed in a public place; and

(b) a person shall be deemed not to consent to the commission of such an act if —

(i) the consent is extorted by force, threats or fear of bodily harm or is obtained by false and fraudulent representations as to the nature of the act;

(ii) the consent is induced by the application or administration of any drug, matter or thing with intent to intoxicate or stupefy the person; or

(iii) that person is, and the other party to the act knows or
has good reason to believe that the person is suffering from a mental disorder.

(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 organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for 10 years on conviction for indictmentImprisonment for 5 years on summary conviction

Section 133: Buggery

“(1) A person who commits buggery commits
an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for —

(a) life, if committed with force and without the consent of the other person;

(b) ten years, in any other case.

Imprisonment for life if committed with force and without consentImprisonment for 10 years in any other case
(2) Any person who attempts to commit buggery, or commits an assault with intent to commit buggery, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for five years.(3) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anus by a male person with another male person.” Imprisonment for 5 years

Saint Vincent & The Grenadines

St Vincent

Criminal Code, 1990 Edition

Section 146


“Any person who —

(a) commits buggery with any other person;

(b) commits buggery with an animal; or

(c) permits any person to commit buggery with him or her; is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for ten years.”

Imprisonment for 10 years

9 Nov 1981

9 Nov 1981

Section 148

“Any person, who in public or private, commits an act of gross indecency with another person of the same sex, or procures or attempts to procure another person of the same sex to commit an act of gross indecency with him or her, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad

Sexual Offences Act 1986, Consolidated Version 2000

Section 13

“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—

(a) if committed by an adult on a minor, for life;

(b) if committed by an adult on another adult, for twenty-five years;

(c) if committed by a minor, for five years.

(2) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse through the anus by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.”

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) life if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) 25 years if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) 5 years if committed by a minor

21 Dec 1978

14 Nov 1980

Section 16

“(1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—

(a) if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years
 of age for ten years for a first offence and to imprisonment for fifteen years for a subsequent offence;

(b) if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more for five years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between—

(a) a husband and his wife; or

(b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to the commission of the act.

(3) An act of “serious 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.”

Imprisonment for a term of:(a) 10 years if committed on a minor and 15 years for a subsequent offence;

(b) 5 years if committed on a person aged 16 years or older

 


[*]           Data and unofficial translations of laws are sourced from Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and Jingshu Zhu, State Sponsored Homophobia Report, (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 6th ed, May 2013.

[†]           Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, ‘Ratification status by country or by treaty’ <http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/Treaty.aspx?Treaty=CCPR&Lang=en&gt;

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s