This country is nowhere near ready to establish a referendum dealing with the decriminalisation of homosexuality and gay rights as it is not legally possible says Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.She made the remarks while fielding questions from members of the local media after delivering yesterday's feature address at the T&T Investment Conference in Manhattan."At this moment it is not legally possible."The draft gender policy came to the Cabinet, discussed at length and given the very divided voices of Trinidad and Tobago. It will not be prudent for Government to proceed in that direction... it's too divided. There is no consensus on that issue," Persad-Bissessar said.
Pressed whether decriminalisation was being considered, she maintained it would be unwise for Government to go in that direction.The PM also spoke on the topic while having the one-on-one conversation with Lakshmi Singh, an anchor for National Public Radio, based in Washington.Describing the issue as "very touchy and sensitive," the Prime Minister said the policy was produced before the People's Partnership came into office in 2010 and it had "never seen the light of day."This was because the previous government faced many persons who were against issues for decriminalising gays and our present government picked it up, dusted it off and put it for discussions again," Persad-Bissessar said.
She said tremendous opposition was faced, especially from the Roman Catholic Church, but the issue of gay rights, the PM said, was not really for the Government to decide."I think that is an issue that is not really for the Government to decide at this time in our country. It is an issue that the people must decide and therefore one that may require as a referendum to get the views of the people... personal views are not good enough."But at this time we are very divided in Trinidad and Tobago," Persad-Bissessar added.She urged that people should not be discriminated based on their sexual orientation.