Types of criminalisation

  • Criminalises sex between men
Commonwealth member state
Criminal Code 1987, Section 430 Committing Grossly Indecent Act

Section 430 criminalises “grossly indecent acts”, punishable by two years imprisonment and/or a fine. While the language is gender-neutral, only sexual acts between men are criminalised under this provision.1

Criminal Code 1987, Section 431 Unnatural Crime

Section 431 prohibits “unnatural connexion” with a penalty of ten years imprisonment. No definition of “unnatural connexion” is provided for under this provision, though it is thought to apply to sexual intercourse between men.2



The US Department of State Human Rights Report for Grenada does not indicate whether the laws are actively enforced.


In May, a 41-year-old man was arrested under the country’s anti-gay laws. The case was dismissed but the dismissal was challenged by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The case was eventually dismissed again. No other recent examples of prosecutions could be found.

Statements by Public Figures


In May, Grenadian Senate President, Lawrence Joseph, called for a review of the anti-homosexuality laws. He “wonder[ed] why it should be considered unlawful for two adult consenting males to have sexual relations in the privacy of their homes. This may well be taking it a bit too far, and the law ought to be reconsidered.”

This may well be taking it a bit too far, and the law ought to be reconsidered.

Lawrence Joseph, Grenada Senate President

Persecution and Discrimination


In March, Human Rights Watch interviewed a 22-year-old lesbian who had been bullied at high school without intervention from teachers. The same woman and her partner were chased with a man with a harpoon. In another incident they were threatened by a group of construction workers.


The US Department of State Human Rights Report for Grenada found “society generally was intolerant of same-sex sexual conduct, and many churches condemned it. Most LGBTI persons were not open about their sexual orientation or gender identity.”


The US Department of State Human Rights Report found no reports of violence linked to real or perceived sexual orientation.

Legislative News


An amendment to protect the equal treatment of people in Grenada included in the 2016 constitutional referendum was overwhelmingly rejected due to concerns that the language in the amendment might lead to the legalisation of same-sex marriage.


Civil society organisations GrenChap and Groundation Grenada filed a petition with the Inter American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) challenging Section 431. The IACHR urged the state to decriminalise same-sex relationships.

During its second UPR cycle, Grenada stated it “cannot accept” recommendations to repeal legislation criminalising consensual same-sex practices between adults as “this is an offence under domestic legislation. Government would however continue to raise awareness on the issue and encourage tolerance.”

During its presentation to the Working Group, the Delegation from Grenada reported that: “the issue of discrimination against LGBTI persons was being considered within the context of the ongoing process of constitutional reform and the general view [presented in public consultations] was that the Constitution should not be amended to give protection to LGBT persons… [however] the Constitutional Reform Advisory Committee had recommended that ordinary legislation be passed with regard to ‘protection against discrimination at workplaces based only on sexual orientation’.”


During its first UPR cycle, Grenada rejected recommendations to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexuality; the country also refused to amend laws which may discriminate on that basis and refused to decriminalise consensual same-sex sexual relations. Whilst rejecting recommendations to decriminalise, in the Working Group Review it was acknowledged that: “With the passage of time, growing tolerance on the part of the people would help in addressing this issue. It was a policy issue on which the Cabinet would have to deliberate.”

1. Criminal Code 1987, Section 430 Committing Grossly Indecent Act

“430. Committing grossly indecent act

Whoever publicly and wilfully commits any grossly indecent act is guilty of a misdemeanour.

73. General rules for punishment

(2)  Where a crime is declared by this Code or by any other statute, to be a misdemeanour, and the punishment for it is not specified, a person convicted thereof shall be liable to imprisonment for two years, or to a fine of four thousand dollars, or to both.” Full text.

2. Criminal Code 1987, Section 431 Unnatural Crime

“If any two persons are guilty of unnatural connexion, or if any person is guilty of unnatural connexion with any animal, every such person shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.”  Full text.

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