December 13, 2000

Dominica has no plans to decriminalize homosexuality

                  ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) -- Dominica Prime Minister Pierre Charles said the
                  government has no plans to change its law against homosexuality, despite the
                  acting attorney general's recent comments in local media that the measure is

                  During a recent newspaper interview, acting Attorney General Bernard Wiltshire was quoted as
                  saying that the law against homosexuality -- punishable by up to 10 years in prison --
                  "discriminates and is unfair."

                  "The government has no interest in that (changing the laws)," Charles said,
                  responding to a question during a radio show Tuesday. "And I want to assure
                  Dominicans that this is not the way the government will be going."

                  Dominica is a former British colony in the Caribbean.

                  Britain plans to force its current Caribbean territories -- the British Virgin Islands,
                  the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands -- to
                  repeal any laws against gays by the end of the month, despite concerns from the
                  conservative islands.

                  Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.