The Government of Guyana says people should not be discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality, but it is not ready to remove colonial-era laws that criminalise sex between men with 10 years to life in prison and outlaw cross-dressing.

In addition, non-penetrative sexual activity between men carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.

“Cabinet did reflect on social responses to homosexuality and reiterated its position of not supporting discrimination of those whose sexual orientation offended contemporary social norms and also consequently any advocacy of such lifestyles,” a Government spokesman said on March 10.

Guyana, a former British colony, is the only English-speaking country in South America and the only one that still criminalises sex between men.

Discrimination against people on the basis of sexuality has been illegal in Guyana since the country adopted a new constitution in 2003.

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