Haiti promises protection to threatened gays, warns violent homophobes

Justice Minister Jean Renel Sanon told HCNN the government will not tolerate any violence against people because of their sexual orientation.

He said law enforcement officials will protect any individuals who are a target for violence regardless of their religious or sexual orientation.

“This government won’t tolerate violence against anybody. Be they gay or not gay, that does not matter,” Sanon told HCNN on Monday.

“Violence against people will be sanctioned,” warned Sanon, who did not say clearly whether or not he supported gay rights.

The statements came after reports that several gay individuals were attacked in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, following an anti gay street demonstration on Friday, organized by a Christian grouping calling itself a coalition of religious and moral organizations.

A spokesman for the group, Pastor Gerald Forges, denounced what he calls a plan orchestrated by Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups to get Parliament to pass a law authorizing gay marriage.

“We, moral people, cannot accept such practices because they go against God’s will,” Forges explained.

“We will continue to demonstrate against those immoral and evil people,” he said.

The president of the lower chamber of Parliament, Jean Tholbert Alexis, said none of the LGBT groups had actually submitted such a project to legislators.

“Such law proposal is not part of the legislative agenda we are working on,” Alexis told HCNN.

The Haitian police denied on Monday allegations that two gay individuals were killed on Friday by anti gay rights protesters who took to the streets on Friday.

The police director for the West region, Michaelange Gedeon, confirmed an incident in which two male individuals, Danilo Orelus and Metelus Theodore, were chased on Friday by protesters who physically attacked them because they believed they were gay.

“The two individuals were working as beauticians in the downtown area when they were attacked. They were performing manicures,” Gedeon told HCNN.

“But they were received by the police who put them in a safe place before releasing them,” Gedeon explained.

According to the police, the two individuals were handed over to one of their close allies at the St Joseph police precinct in the capital.

“The police do not discriminate. We’ll protect any gay individual who would be persecuted or attacked, as we would do for any other person,” stated Gedeon, who said he never received any complaint from members of the LGBT community, who felt particularly threatened or persecuted.

One gay individual, who wanted HCNN to call him by the name of Marshall for security reasons, said he has received numerous threats from anti gay activists over the past 72 hours.

“Someone saw me down the street on Saturday and he told me he is going to kill me,” 24-year-old Marshall said.

“I believe we have a right to be gay. I don’t think we should die because of that,” he said.

“I heard people say what we are doing is against God’s will, but I was attracted to men, since I was a kid,” he said.

“I believe God created me the way I am,” he added.

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