Tuesday 20 October, 2020

LGBTQ hopeful after Barbados Welcome Stamp requirements change

Welcome Stamp changes family designation to include partners

Welcome Stamp changes family designation to include partners

Up for less than a day and the Bearbados Welcome Stamp website has seen some sweeping changes after facing criticism on social media.

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The Barbados Welcome Stamp website reflected changes in the defined term for the primary applicant for families to a more inclusive one, less than 24 hours after thousands of people responded to a tweet from one half of 'The Read' podcast duo, Crissle West. According to her blog, she lives in Harlem but her Twitter location is set as Barbados. West is also a TV personality whose work has been featured in the Washington Post, ESSENCE, Slate and Buzzfeed.

Overnight the information under the Application Process within the Step 1 - Definition of Terms section was amended to include "partner". The previous definition for spouse, given as part of a man/wife couple united by marriage or by common law, was deleted as well.

The initiative launched to a majority positive reception a couple of weeks ago but got some backlash on Monday (July 20) from the LGBTQ community when the website for applications went live.

Silver lining

Noting the haste with which the amendments were made, some locals are seeing this as a positive step in the right direction but are wondering if Government will make provisions within Barbados' laws to be inclusive of LGTBQ people too.

Co-Founder of the Barbados Gays, Lebians Against Discrimination (B-GLAD), Roann Mohammed told Loop News:

"I hope the way in which this language was updated quickly and easily, so can the language in policies and legislation which cause disenfranchisement to LGBTQ people who have to navigate Barbados every day. The most marginalised LGBTQ people who live here with legislation that criminalises their identities and fails to protect them from discrimination deserve to be heard and met with respect from the state as well."

The human rights advocate went on to question whether there would be provisions made for these couples to live on the island in exception to our existing laws.

"Barbados’ Family Law still defines spouses as a man and a woman.

"Will these people then be able to live here as an exception to that law if their marriages are recognised as valid?" Mohammed asked.


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