PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – “This is the most abject attack in Haiti. A Power of the State against the rights of peaceful citizens,” described Charlot Jeudy, Director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual (LGBT) advocacy organization, Kouraj.
The head of the most active and most targeted LGBT group in Haiti delivered these remarks within 24 hours after the Senate voted on the “Law on Strengthening the Provisions of the Civil Code Relating to Marriage and the Protection of the Family” bill. If passed, the bill makes same-sex marriages illegal in Haiti, for nationals and foreigners, punishable by a prison sentence and fine upto $8,000 [USD].
Jeudy regards the bill as “unconstitutional” and is referencing several articles within the Constitution of Haiti dealing with individual freedom and fundamental human rights. He also believes the bill would violate a certain number of commitments made by the Haitian State through the adoption of international conventions, pointedly those promoting the respect for human rights and dignity.
“The Haitian Senate, which should guarantee and protect the rights of all Haitians, especially minorities, can not set itself sit up as a violator of these rights”, criticized the leader of Kouraj who also questioned the appropriateness of the law.
To face what he presents “as a measure aimed at reinforcing discrimination against LGBT people”, Charlot Jeudy indicates that his organization is in full consultation with many national and international human rights actors. They intend to advocate in the Chamber of Deputies and with the Administration for the outright rejection of the bill, “which tends to justify acts of violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
“This campaign should also be extended,” said Charlot Jeudy, “against the law on the Certificate of Good Life and Morals, recently adopted by the Grand Body.”
In the event of failure of these procedures, the Kouraj does not rule out the possibility of bringing the question before the Haitian judicial bodies to question the “constitutionality” of these laws. A complaint, to be filed with international human rights organizations is also in the works “in order to force the Haitian state to assume its responsibilities towards all its citizens.”