Jamaica’s break from British monarchy must bring about queer liberation, activists say

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05/20/2023

King Charles III’s coronation has accelerated plans for Jamaica to become a republic, and activists say it’s time for the country to take a big step forward on LGBTQ+ equality. The former British colony has been independent since 1962, but – like other Commonwealth nations – has retained the British monarch as its head of state. Jamaica has also retained colonial-era laws criminalising same-sex sexual activity. Jamaica’s minister for legal and constitutional affairs Marlene Malahoo Forte said the ascension of a new British monarch sped up her nation’s plans to become a republic, formally breaking ties with the UK. Forte’s “urgent” referendum could be held “as early as 2024”, Sky News reported. The move would see Jamaica write a new constitution and have its own president in the next year.

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