The Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CASIO) will be aiming to educate decision-makers about modern understandings of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Minister of Community Development Marlene McDonald has publicly said that the issue of same-sex unions, homosexuality and sexual orientation was not included in the National Gender Policy and Action Plan.
CASIO’s plans include a website, monthly meetings, fund-raising at home and abroad, educational activities with public and religious officials and collaboration with local and international research, advocacy and human rights groups.
David Sooomarie, a leader of 4Change, which is part of the Coalition said, “GLBT people are fully human, fully citizens. We’re taxpayers and our country will never achieve the developed nation status when our Government leaders can stand up and boldly declare that they intend to leave out and treat as second class citizens whole groups of citizens.”
4Change was named after section 4 (Recognition and Declaration of Rights and Freedoms) of the TT Constitution.
Angela Francis, the manager of Velvet Underground, an online social networking group of lesbians and gay men from 18 to 60, represented this country at a meeting of a coalition of 17 non-governmental organisations from across the hemisphere that pressed the Organisation of American States to unanimously adopt resolution AG/RES.2504 titled “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” on June 4.
She said at the OAS meeting in Honduras, TT leaders signed a resolution promising “to protect us against violence and other human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Noting that TT had signed a similar OAS resolution one year ago, she questioned whether international commitments were taken seriously. On July 26, a memorial service will be held for GLBT community members lost to HIV or violence.