HAITI: Senate Passes Bill Banning Same-Sex Marriage And Criminalizing “Public Support” For Homosexuality

Agence France-Presse reports:

A vote by the Haitian Senate to ban gay marriage as well as “public demonstration of support” for homosexuality reflects the will of the people, the chamber’s president has said. The Senate approved a bill late Tuesday that said “the parties, co-parties and accomplices” of a homosexual marriage can be punished by three years in prison and a fine of about USD 8,000.

“All senators are opposed to same-sex marriage, so this simply reflects the commitments the senators made during their campaigns,” Senate President Youri Latortue told AFP. Haiti’s constitution established a secular republic but the country is marked by deep religious beliefs. “Although the state is secular, it is people of faith who are the majority,” Latortue said, stressing the commonly held belief in Haiti that homosexuality is a Western practice only.

The bill also criminalizes “any public demonstration of support for homosexuality and proselytizing in favour of such acts.” It’s expected to pass easily in Haiti’s lower house, the 118-member Chamber of Deputies. Haiti is overwhelmingly Catholic.