The Caribbean is shaking off the monarchy – but ‘imported’ Christianity still fuelling homophobia

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05/04/2023

As King Charles’ coronation approaches, many Caribbean countries are considering a future without the monarchy. Charles will be anointed king during his coronation on Saturday (8 May), not just of the UK, but of 14 other Commonwealth realms. Eight of these realms are Caribbean nations once colonised by the British. Six – Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis – signalled plans to become republics in 2022, following Barbados’ lead. Many would like an apology from the British Royal Family for its complicity in colonialism. The region is still contending with the legacy of the British empire – for LGBTQ+ Caribbeans, this is felt keenly in the homophobic laws and attitudes it left behind. At the height, the British empire had colonies on every continent, save Antarctica. Christian fundamentalism was implemented as the core belief system, and laws were introduced that made same-sex relations an imprisonable offence. Politicians and judges are working to undo these laws to this very day – but it’s no easy task.

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