Kingston ranks low in 'inclusiveness' for LGBTQ+ - report

The nation's capital of Kingston is "not inclusive or competitive" as an environment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ+) community.

That's according to a new study, Economic Case to LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Caribbean, conducted by Open for Business Cities Ratings. The report purports to show "the strong link between LGBTQ+ inclusion and economic competitiveness at the city level, all around the world."

The report stated that Kingston has not improved its inclusion ratings since the last study in 2020.

Among the other cities in Latin America and the Caribbean rated 'not inclusive or competitive' are La Paz, Bolivia; Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Quito, Ecuador; Guatemala City, Guatemala and San Salvador, El Salvador.

According to the findings of the report, Kingston does not have a transparent system of governance with a low risk of corruption nor does it have a good quality of life and a dynamic cultural environment. In a release, Zi Piggott, the Caribbean campaign lead at Open for Business said there is significant room for improvement.

“Kingston stands only to gain from creating an easier environment to create and conduct business, increased transparency and a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ people,” he said.

If Kingston should become an ‘open for business’ environment, the report suggests there would be a reduction in brain drain—the emigration of skilled/qualified people, stating Jamaicans leave the island because of harmful laws, attitudes, and how business is conducted.

Also, according to the findings, Jamaica’s tourism sector’s bottom line could improve since over US$600 million is lost annually throughout the Caribbean due to a gap in the LGBTQ+ travel market.

An 'Open for Business' survey found 18 percent of LGBTQ+ people won’t visit the Caribbean due to homophobia and transphobia. Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the overall sample said they'd only visit a Caribbean country after it passed pro-LGBT+ laws.

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