Religion, Hate, Love, and Advocacy for LGBT Human Rights in Saint Lucia

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This article explores how religion and religious institutions affect the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people living in Saint Lucia.


Drawing on thirty-three interviews conducted as part of an international human rights project, we explore the role that religion can play in both reinforcing marginalization and promoting human rights for sexual minority people.


Thematic analysis of interview data reveals ways in which religion is the foundation for life in Saint Lucia and both marginalizes and sustains sexual minority lives.


Although churches are often viewed as major opponents to LGBT human rights, participants discussed hopes and strategies for churches to become allies in advocating for inclusion.

Policy Implications

We conclude that Saint Lucia is a context in which work toward human rights for sexual minority people must include attention to religion as a powerful and meaningful component of peoples’ lives.

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    The language of “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender” and the LGBT acronym are used here because it was the chosen language for the Canada-based research project. The acronym LGB (Lesbian Gay Bisexual) is used elsewhere in the paper to reflect language used by participants in Saint Lucia.


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The authors would like to thank the staff of United and Strong Saint Lucia for their collaboration in this research. The authors would also like to thank the Saint Lucian participants, individuals, and organizations who made this research possible.

Funding Information

This research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Author information

Correspondence to Charmaine C. Williams.

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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures for the research study were approved by the institutional ethics review board at the University of Toronto and York University.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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Williams, C.C., Forbes, J.R., Placide, K. et al. Religion, Hate, Love, and Advocacy for LGBT Human Rights in Saint Lucia. Sex Res Soc Policy (2020) doi:10.1007/s13178-020-00429-x

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  • LGBT
  • Religion
  • Oppression
  • Homophobia
  • Saint Lucia
  • Caribbean
  • Human rights