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  • Writer's pictureAaron Kelley

LGBTQ+ Safety In The Caribbean

Are you craving warm sun and beautiful beaches? For American travelers, that usually means a trip to the Caribbean islands.

The Caribbean islands are an easy flight from most of the U.S. but if, like me, you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you are probably concerned about where to go. Many of the islands in the Caribbean are notoriously unfriendly to gay travelers. In fact, a recent danger index listed three Caribbean islands in the top 20 most dangerous places in the world for LGBTQ+ people: Barbados (8th), St Lucia (12th), and Jamaica (18th).

The LGBTQ+ danger index is based on a total of eight factors:

  1. Legalized same-sex marriages

  2. Worker protection

  3. Protections against discrimination

  4. Criminalization of violence

  5. Adoption recognition

  6. Is it a good place to live

  7. Illegal same-sex relationships

  8. Propaganda/morality laws

Sadly, many of the islands of the Caribbean fail the test for LGBTQ+ safetey.

The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) is currently working in five countries to strike down colonial era homophobic laws prohibiting same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults. The enforcement level of these laws is often unclear, but they help perpetuate the homophobic culture prevalent on many islands.

Here are the five countries where ECADE is working and the current status of homosexual relationships on those islands:

  • Antigua and Barbuda – up to 15 years in prison

  • Barbados – up to life in prison

  • Grenada – men only, up to 10 years in prison; legal between females

  • St Kitts and Nevis - men only, up to 10 years in prison with or without hard labor; legal between females

  • St Lucia - men only, up to 10 years in prison with or without a fine; legal between females

With all of this work still to be done, it can seem daunting for LGBTQ+ travelers to enjoy the Caribbean, but it isn't. There are plenty of places where gay travelers can safely enjoy all that the islands have to offer.

Where can LGBTQ+ travelers safely visit in the Caribbean? I've got a guide for that!

Download the LGBTQ+ Guide To The Caribbean here:

Travel safely.

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