The government of Guyana has announced a national consultation on repealing the nation's death penalty and its anti-gay laws, reports AP. Guyana remains the only South American nation where same-sex sex activity is illegal.
Town-hall-style meetings will be held across the socially conservative South American country. ... The government plans to analyze public opinion before deciding whether it will submit any bills to revise current laws. [...]
The government said officials also plan to meet with leaders from Christian, Hindu and Islamic communities who represent Guyana’s most prominent religions. Many religious leaders in the country oppose legalization of homosexuality.
The independent Society Against Sexual Orientation and Discrimination said it will campaign to remove what it says are extremely discriminatory colonial-era laws. "It is making criminals out of ordinary people,” spokesman Joel Simpson said, noting that under current law, two consenting male adults could face a minimum of two years in prison for having sex in the privacy of their home.
The penalties become more severe for the crime of "buggery." The punishment could be up to 10 years or possibly life imprisonment—although it's not certain how often this is enforced.
The public consultations follow a pledge made by the government after last year's historic resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council that condemned discrimination and violence against the LGBT community.