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by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Members of Guyana’s Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination filed suit in the Supreme Court on Feb. 19 against the nation’s ban on cross-dressing.
The “originating notice of motion” says the cross-dressing law is “irrational, discriminatory, undemocratic” and unconstitutional.
The law makes it an offense when an individual “being a man, in any public way or public place, for any improper purpose, appears in female attire, or being a woman, in any public way or public place, for any improper purpose, appears in male attire.”
The law is part of a section of Guyana’s legal code that also bans gay sex.
A year ago, in a series of crackdowns, Guyanese police arrested several male-to-female transgender people. They were convicted under the cross-dressing ban and fined 7,500 Guyanese dollars ($36) each by Georgetown Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson, who told them to go to church and give their lives to Christ.
“It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life,” said Seon “Falatama” Clarke, one of the arrestees and a plaintiff in the case. “I felt like I was less than human.”