Barbados is one of many small Caribbean countries where homosexuality is illegal but is mostly ignored since so few people are ‘out’ in public. It is ignored and also ill-informed with anti-gay opinions running high, if one is asked. Mostly the topic is kept in silence as is the personal life of LGBT citizens.
Section 23 of the Barbados Constitution provides that “no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect” and that “no person shall be treatedin a discriminatory manner by any person by virtue of any written law or in performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.” Despite such a resounding proclamation against discrimination, LGBT individuals in Barbados face an ongoing battle for basic human rights which are denied on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The central, most egregious violation of LGBT rights in Barbados is the state’s criminalization of same sex sexual activity. The buggery laws, as they are known, typically apply in an arbitrary fashion only to homosexuals, reflecting a wider cultural consensus regarding the immorality of non-heterosexual human relationships. Barbados also supports the death penalty for juveniles under 18.