The government in Barbados has revealed that they’re prepared to “recognise a form of civil unions for couples of the same gender”, but only if it is voted in favour by the public.

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason emphasised the point during a throne speech, stating “my government is not allowing any form of same sex marriage, and will put this matter to a public referendum.”

This comes after increased frustration towards the Barbadian government surrounding human rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

Speaking on the issue, Mason said: “If we wish to be considered amongst the progressive nations of the world, Barbados cannot afford to lose its international leadership place and reputation.

“Nor can a society as tolerant as ours, allow itself to be ‘blacklisted’ for human and civil rights abuses or discrimination on the matter of how we treat to human sexuality and relations”.

The Governor also stated: “My government will accept and be guided by the vote of the public as promised in the manifesto.

“My government will do the right thing, understanding that this too will attract controversy. Equally, it is our hope that with the passage of time, the changes we now propose will be part of the fabric of our country’s record of law, human rights and social justice.”

Currently in Barbados, LGBTQ+ people do not possess the same rights as those who are not LGBTQ+. Acts of homosexuality are illegal in Barbados and can result in a life sentence in prison, although this is under review.