In Haiti, More LGBT-friendly Penal Code Prompts Outcry from Pulpit

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07/23/2020

An overhaul of Haiti’s penal code that punishes marriage officiants who refuse to perform same-sex weddings is provoking outcry among religious leaders in the socially conservative Caribbean nation. The tension is emerging in a nation that has never spelled out LGBT rights and same-sex unions have never been recognized and homosexuality has never been expressly codified as illegal. At the heart of the current discussion is the rewrite of the 185-year-old penal code, decreed by Haitian President Jovenel Moise last month. It voids the work of lawmakers who were drafting legal reforms before parliament recessed and the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the country. Published in an official government newsletter on June 24, the reforms would go into effect in 2022 unless a new parliament rejects the document.

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