Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Panama: President Martino Torrijos Espino repeals sodomy statute

An update: Last year after I stated that Nicaragua had become the last Spanish-speaking country in Latin America to remove a sodomy statute from its books, journalist Rex Wockner unearthed a 1949 law in Panama which penalized "clandestine prostitution, procurement (proxenetismo), sodomy and all vices of sexual degeneration not specified under this Decree will be sanctioned with penalties imposed by the Director of the Department of Public Health" with up to one year in prison or a $500 follar fine.

Good news! In his syndicated International News column dated August 14th, Rex says that on July 29th Panamanian president Martino Torrijos Espino signed a decree repealing the law.

"According to Amnesty International," Rex says, "11 nations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean continue to ban gay sex -- Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. All of the countries are former British colonies."


Unknown said...

Finally! The first gay bars I ever went to were in Panama when I was but a wee fruit fly. Progress is slow there but at least it's progress.

libhom said...

Thanks for the great news about Panama.