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Report Highlights Gay Man's Murder

By RUPERT MISSICK Jr

A NEW human rights report prepared by the US State Department sites the unsolved 2011 murder of a gay man while pointing out that the Bahamas offers no protection against discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons.

According to the report, members of the Bahamian LGBT community believe that the June 2011 murder of photographer Sharvado Simmons occurred at the hands of a group of men seeking retribution for a previous incident where Simmons solicited and deceived one of the men while dressed “in drag.”

The report further stated that societal discrimination against gay men and lesbians occurred, with some persons reporting job and housing discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

Although same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults is legal, no domestic legislation addresses the human rights concerns of lesbian, LGBT persons and the 2006 Constitutional Review Commission found that sexual orientation did not deserve protection against discrimination.

The report did admit however, that LGBT NGOs operated openly in the country.

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