Lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBTI) people are subject to violence, stigma, and discrimination in both public and private spheres, within the State party. Until last year Section 56 (Sodomy and Bestiality) of the Offences Against the Person Act 1986 criminalised buggery between men with a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment, with or without hard labour – this law was declared unconstitutional by the St Kitts and Nevis High Court in August 2022. However, there is still an absence of legal protection from discrimination and the State party does not legally recognise same-sex unions or marriages.
The rights of transgender and intersex people are not legally recognised or protected in St. Kitts and Nevis.
In 2011, in its first UPR cycle, St. Kitts and Nevis accepted that the criminalisation of sexual relations between consenting adults was controversial.
In its second UPR cycle, St. Kitts and Nevis noted recommendations to decriminalise consensual same-sex sexual relations.
In 2015, St. Kitts and Nevis voted against a failed Russian proposal at the UN General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) to overturn the UN Secretary-General’s decision to extend UN staff benefits to married same-sex couples.
In the 27th Session, the CEDAW Committee did not provide any LBTI-focused recommendations to St. Kitts and Nevis. The List of Issues also does not contain LBTI-specific questions.
During the 83rd session in October 2022, the state party received its first rights-affirming observations from the CEDAW Committee. The Committee noted with appreciation the landmark ruling by the High Court declaring all laws criminalising same-sex intimacy unconstitutional, while also noting that the State party is currently discussing the formation of an inter-ministerial committee to review and adjust the constitutional definition of discrimination. While congratulating the state for rendering unconstitutional all laws that criminalise same sex intimacy, the Committee noted with concern the absence of a time frame for the revision of all relevant laws to reflect the ruling of the High Court.