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Haiti hate mob bombs gay British Red Cross worker’s engagement party

The attackers are said to have descended on the celebrations brandishing improvised weapons including Molotov cocktails. Photo: Caribbean 360
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – Several people were reportedly injured during a violent outbreak of homophobic hostilities which erupted in the French-speaking nation’s capital over the weekend.

Angry locals hurled rocks and homemade bombs at a gay British man and his Haitian partner as they celebrated their engagement at a party with friends.

The mob reportedly descended on the celebrations brandishing improvised weapons, including Molotov cocktails, and are said to have set cars on fire and smashed windows.

It was only a last-minute intervention by police that prevented the couple and their guests from being killed, according to the French news agency AFP.

The Englishman, identified only as a Red Cross worker named Max, is reported to have survived the incident unharmed, but has refused to speak about it publicly for fear of further attacks on his Haitian partner.

Commenting on the attack, Charlot Jeudy from the Haitian gay rights group Kouraj, said: “This is a criminal act and homophobic. There is no justification for this kind of attack on people in a private residence. Hopefully the justice authorities will react to the perpetrators of this act.”

While gay people in Haiti are not penalised by the law, there is no formal recognition of same-sex couples and most homosexual Haitians are careful to keep a low profile to avoid losing their jobs or facing violent attacks.

Last month, after a gay rights group announced that it planned to submit proposals for a law permitting gay marriage, over 1,000 members of a group calling itself the Haiti Coalition of Religious and Moral Organisations, and comprising members of the Protestant, Catholic, Muslim and Voodoo faiths, took to the streets in protest.

“I believe in God and God condemns homosexuality. Haiti is not going to accept this, and God will punish us further if we allow this to pass,” one of the protesters told the Associated Press.

Unconfirmed media reports claimed that two persons assumed to be gay were beaten to death during the demonstration.

The country’s gay community has fought against discrimination for years and the catastrophic 2010 earthquake made the situation worse, according to a report by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Haiti’s gays claim that the quake heightened discrimination against them by their countrymen who blamed their “sinfulness” for bringing down the wrath of God.

Members of the gay community say that rights violations often go unreported from fear of reprisals, moreover.

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