The Queen: Monarch of 11 countries where being gay can land you in prison
While the anti-gay laws in Russia have garnered a lot of International attention in recent weeks, it is still legal to be gay in the country. However, in other parts of the world, where The Queen is Head of State, gay people can still be jailed for same-sex activity.
Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of three nation states where same-sex marriage is legal, England and Wales, Canada and New Zealand. However in the majority of the countries where The Queen is the constitutional Monarch, there are no legal protections in place to protect LGBT people at all.
The Queen is a constitutional monarch, so she is considered ‘above politics’ in all of her realms.
In 11 of her 16 realms, homosexuality is illegal:-
Antigua and Barbuda
In Antigua and Barbuda same sex activity is illegal for both gay men and lesbian women. Two consenting adults found guilty of the offence can face up to 15 years in prison and no legal protections exist to protect those who are LGBT.
Although the law is rarely enforced, people in Barbados found guilty of same-sex activity can face up to life imprisonment. Homophobia is rife in the country and in recent days a newspaper columnist from the country claimed that “AIDS a punishment” for those that are homosexual.
Same-sex activity has been illegal in Belize since 2003 and those found guilty can face up to 10 years in prison. Despite the fact Belize has faced pressure from the United States to change the law the Prime Minister has remained adamant that gay sex should remain a criminal offence. Earlier this year a case that was brought in 2010 made it to the Supreme Court with British former attorney general, Lord Goldsmith among a team who argued for an overturn of the law.
In Grenada male homosexuality is a crime and those found guilty can face up to 10 years in prison. While female homosexuality isn’t illegal in the country, no legal rights exist for lesbians.
This list continues on the next page.
Same sex activity is illegal in Jamaica for both men and women and those found guilty can face up to 10 years in prison. Jamaica has been described as one of the most homophobic places on earth. PinkNews.co.uk has reported numerous stories out of Jamaica that show endemic homophobia in all areas of society. Recently, a transgender teenager was murdered and it was later revealed the victim suffered abuse at school and from their parents.
Papua New Guinea
Male homosexuality is illegal in Papua New Guinea with those found guilty of partaking in sodomy facing up to 14 years in prison. Although the law is rarely enforced, LGBT people face widespread social stigma and isolation from the rest of society. The AIDS epidemic which has exploded in Papua New Guinea in the past few years has been in part blamed on the homophobic laws and the homophobia in society.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
It is illegal for gay men to have sex in Saint Kitts and Nevis where those found guilty can face up 10 years in prison. No one has ever been jailed under the law but there are no plans for the law to be overturned. A gay cruise ship was banned from docking on the islands in 2005.
Males homosexuality is illegal on the island of Saint Lucia with those founds guilty facing up to 10 years in prison. It was the only country in the Americas to formally oppose the United Nations declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Same-sex activity in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is illegal with those found guilty facing up to 5 years in prison. Those found guilty of anal sex can face up to 10 years in prison. The law is said to be rarely enforced the country.
The Solomon Islands
Those found guilty of partaking in same-sex activity on The Solomon Islands can face up to 14 years in prison. People who attempt to engage in anal sex can face up to 7 years in prison. Attempts to reform the law were made in 2008 but the plans were met with strong opposition and in 2011 the country informed the United Nations that they would not seek to decriminalise same-sex behaviour.
Male homosexuality is illegal in Tuvalu with those found guilty facing up to 14 years in prison. Female homosexuality is legal but no legal protections or recognition exist for lesbians in the country. The law states that no person shall “commit buggery with another person or with an animal.” The country also makes it illegal for a man to have sexual intercourse with a “female idiot or imbecile woman”.