Panama Repeals 1949 Law Criminalizing Gay Sex
Via SF Bay Times:
"Panamanian President Martín Torrijos Espino signed a decree repealing a 1949 law that criminalized sodomy under penalty of a us$500 fine or jail time. The move followed protests by the gay group New Men and Women of Panama and other human-rights defenders, local media said. The decree, issued by the Ministry of Health and also signed by Health Minister Rosario E. Turner, said the ban was at odds with the Panamanian Constitution and international human-rights treaties Panama has signed. It also said the law conflicted with the Health Ministry’s policy to “maintain respect for the sexual preferences of each person, without the existence of any type of discrimination” in the operation of its sexually transmitted diseases programs."
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, still have laws against gay sex, according to the paper.