C-FLAG with a yahoo listserve while in 2007 Belize attended a meeting in the Dominican Republic which triggered UniBAM decriminaliation strategy that became case 668 of 2010. While it was an informal discussion base on an initiative from the University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), the initiation and development of legal documents was pushed hard by UniBAM after its first UNDP meeting on marginalized groups organized by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities.
Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of all Genders and Sexualities was founded in 1997 at a meeting
in Curaçao of around 70 LGBT people from 17 countries, with a focus on
community empowerment, HIV and other issues. It faced challenges with
communication and sustainability, and did not survive. But new local LGBT
groups did emerge, as well as a new HIV-funded region wide group focused on
several Caribbean Vulnerable Communities. Starting in 2008, in Barbados, the
name was changed to CariFLAGS, and the mission re-focused on human rights,
health, culture and spirituality. Further plans were made for registration, a
communications secretariat, and a shift from individual to organizational
membership – but leaders had mixed success working together. Recognizing this
and the sense that we still need to build a regional movement, 35 LGBT leaders from 13 countries reviewed the mistakes of the past and decided
to take a new approach to this work and use a meeting in St. Lucia to move
forward in a new way.
St Lucia’s first and only LGBT organisation, United and Strong Inc (U&S) formed in 2001 and was registered in November of 2005 in collaboration with the Caribbean AIDS Alliance in response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. It has leveraged its relationship Globally, Regionally, hemispherically to improve its impact back at home. Issuing Shadow reports to the UPR process and making its constitutional submission in 2009.
the National Assembly in 2001 unanimously passed a constitutional
amendment bill with comprehensive reforms, including new expressly
prohibited grounds of discrimination. Three new grounds in particular
raised the ire of sections of the religious community: marital status,
religious vilification and sexual orientation. Initially campaigning
against all three, but eventually settling for the biggest perceived
sin, sections of the evangelical Christian and Muslim communities
managed to convince then-President Bharrat Jagdeo not to assent to the
bill but to send it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.
The bill came up in Parliament again in 2003, and this was a key moment
in SASOD’s genesis.
The Alliance is a group of allies who operate as a collective, founded July30th, 2012 has much to celebrate, including the
long-awaited passing of the Human Rights Act amendment in June 2013.
Unfortunately, however, this amendment falls short when it comes to
protection with regard to discrimination on the grounds of gender
identity and gender expression.
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UniBAM) became and NGO on May 4th, 2006. Some 8 years after the founding of JFLAG. With American Scott Stirm being quoted in the Amandala about UniBAM decriminalisation work as opening a “demonic gate way” while his colleague speaking on his Rise and Shine Morning Show calling UniBAM OAS presentation in 2014, “a pack of lies straight from the Pitts of hell.” The organization have watched at Church leaders attack the criminal code amendments of 2013 that extended protection of sexual violence to boys and march against the gender policy and UNIBAM in 2013. While the Belize PM speech of September 2013 has changed the tone of political engagement, like Portia Simpson, there has been no substance to the adjustment in tone to extend legislative protection to address discrimination, hate speech and crime. Belize too has turned to litigation as a strategy to push its rights protection and enforcement concerns.
JFLAG was founded in 1998. Since then, The European Parliament
in 2005 passed a resolution calling on Jamaica to repeal its
“antiquated and discriminatory sodomy laws and to actively combat
widespread homophobia” while Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson’s
pledge that “no one should be discriminated against because of their
sexual orientation. Maurice Tomlinson filed a
case against Jamaica at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in February 2012 and another in February 2013 to challenge the buggery law which was withdrawn because for safety reasons from the Jamaican courts. He filed a 3rd case on censorship in the media with hearings done in May, 2013, which he lost.
CFLAGS remain as a regional potential, as its presence have been leveraged to address the Professor Bain issue, its had signed on the numerous petitions, press releases and have coordinated in the region work on the UN resolution on Extrajudicial Killings. What it does in the next couple of years in pushing faster institutional change will remain a fascinating process, as its activists learn to define regional strategy that has a regional effort..