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LGBT Festival Canceled in Haiti After Threats of Violence

Haiti LGBT Festival canceled
AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery

"There are very homophobic people who are against it," said one organizer.

A festival celebrating the Afro-Carribean LGBT community to take place in Port-au-Prince, Haiti was called off on Tuesday due to "numerous threats of violence" and "a subsequent prohibition" by a government commissioner.

The commissioner, Jean Danton Leger, has decided to block the festival because he believes it violates Haiti's "moral and social" values, CBS News reported.

The festival, called Massimadi, has previously been held in Montreal and Brussels. This was the first year it was scheduled to take place in Port-au-Prince.

The main organizer of the event, Judy Charlot of the gay rights group Kouraj, is determined to hold the four-day film, art and performance festival at a later date.

"There are very homophobic people who are against it, and the government official who is responsible for the jurisdiction of Port-au-Prince has also taken a decision to prevent the festival for now," said Charlot. "But we still plan on holding Massimadi in the future."

Unfortunately, much of Haiti's LGBT community remains underground because of discrimination, even though there are no laws criminalizing homosexuality.

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