Anguilla is a small island in the Caribbean that is known for its stunning beaches and luxury resorts. But how welcoming is it for gay travelers? In this blog post, we will explore the legal, social and cultural aspects of being gay in Anguilla, and offer some tips and advice for a safe and enjoyable trip.

Legal status of homosexuality in Anguilla

Anguilla is a British overseas territory, which means that it follows the laws of the United Kingdom. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Anguilla in 2001, following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that applied to all British territories. However, the age of consent for same-sex relations is 18, while it is 16 for opposite-sex relations. This unequal age of consent violates international human rights standards and has been criticized by human rights groups.

There are no laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination or hate crimes in Anguilla. Same-sex marriage and civil partnerships are not recognized, and there are no legal provisions for adoption or surrogacy by same-sex couples. Transgender people have no legal recognition of their gender identity or access to gender-affirming health care.

Social and cultural attitudes towards homosexuality in Anguilla

Anguilla is a predominantly Christian island, with Anglican, Methodist and Baptist churches being the most common denominations. The influence of religion and conservative values can be seen in the public opinion and attitudes towards homosexuality. According to a 2013 survey by the Caribbean Development Research Services, 82% of Anguillans said that homosexuality was morally wrong, and 75% said that they would not accept a gay family member.

However, this does not mean that all Anguillans are homophobic or intolerant. Many locals are friendly and respectful towards gay visitors, especially those who work in the tourism industry. There are also some LGBT activists and allies who are working to raise awareness and promote acceptance of sexual diversity on the island.

Pumphouse bar, Anguilla

Pumphouse bar, Anguilla Image Flickr © Veronica Boertee

Gay scene and nightlife in Anguilla

Pumphouse, Sandy Ground, Anguilla

Pumphouse, Sandy Ground, Anguilla © divergentpixels

Due to Anguilla’s small population and conservative culture, there is virtually no gay scene or nightlife on the island. There are no gay bars, clubs, organizations or events. The closest thing to a gay venue is the Pumphouse, a popular bar and restaurant in Sandy Ground that attracts a mixed crowd of locals and tourists. The Pumphouse hosts live music, karaoke and themed nights, and is known for its friendly atmosphere and fun vibe.

 

Tips and advice for gay travelers in Anguilla

Anguilla is a beautiful destination for gay travelers who are looking for a relaxing and romantic getaway. However, it is important to be aware of the legal and social situation of LGBT people on the island, and to exercise some caution and discretion when traveling there. Here are some tips and advice for a safe and enjoyable trip:

– Respect the local culture and customs. Avoid public displays of affection, especially in rural areas or near religious sites. Dress modestly when not on the beach or at your resort.
– Choose your accommodation wisely. Some resorts are more gay-friendly than others, and may offer special packages or amenities for LGBT guests. You can also check online reviews or ask for recommendations from other gay travelers who have visited Anguilla before.
– Be discreet when using online dating apps or websites. Do not share personal information or photos with strangers, and be careful when meeting someone for the first time. Always meet in a public place, tell someone where you are going, and use protection.
– Be prepared for possible harassment or discrimination. If you encounter any verbal or physical abuse, do not engage or retaliate. Report the incident to your hotel staff or the police if you feel safe to do so.
– Enjoy the natural beauty and attractions of Anguilla. Anguilla has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean, where you can swim, snorkel, sail or sunbathe. You can also explore the island’s history, culture and cuisine by visiting museums, art galleries, restaurants and shops.

 
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