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Haiti’s Senate Passes Harsh Law Against Marriage Equality

LADB Article ID: 80437
Category/Department: Haiti
Date: 2017-10-12
By: George Rodríguez

In Haiti, phobic attitudes against the LGBT community seem as deeply rooted as poverty, and their irrational manifestations range from blaming that community for the devastating earthquake of 2010 to physical and legal violence against its members. Within this context, Haiti’s Senate has taken a step in the wrong direction, passing a draft law that would make same-sex marriage––and any pro-diversity expressions––punishable by both prison and an exorbitant fine.The recently approved Law Relating to Marriage and the Protection of Family (Loi sur le Renforcement des Dispositions du Code Civil Relatives au Mariage et à la Protection de la Famille) now awaits a vote by Haiti’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies. In a country where many people survive on less than US$2 a day, the initiative sets a fine of 500,000-gourde (about US$8,000) plus a prison sentence of up to three years to punish persons it describes as “the parties, co-parties, and accomplices” of a same-sex marriage.The text, approved Aug. 3, also forbids public expressions or advocacy favorable to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community. The initiative was passed in the Senate despite the fact that marriage is already defined by Haitian law as only between a man and a woman.

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