Valini Leitch
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SASOD

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) was founded on June 7, 2003, by Joel Simpson. What began as a tertiary-based student lobby group of mostly University of Guyana students has today blossomed into a full-fledged organisation that is the leading voice on LGBT issues in Guyana, and an indigenous model of LGBT organising in the wider Caribbean region. We are now an independent non-governmental, non-profit, civil society organisation funded by grants from various international organisations and governments promoting human rights and good governance.

SASOD’s work with local, regional and international partners has enabled it to advance Guyana’s human rights commitments related to sexual orientation and gender identity at both the international level through the United Nations human rights system and the regional level through the Inter-American human rights system.

We have since grown to be Guyana’s most prominent human rights advocacy organisation and movement dedicated to achieving equality and justice for all Guyanese, especially those suffering discrimination based on their sexuality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. SASOD supports similar work in the Caribbean and Latin America, across the Global South and worldwide. The beneficiaries of our work are primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Guyanese, women, youth, as well as other key local stakeholders.

We document cases of discrimination and advocate for policy reform to protect the rights of all Guyanese: men, women and Children regardless of gender, sexuality, age, religion, socio-economic status, class, et cetera.

Mission

Leading change, educating and serving communities to end discrimination based on sexuality and gender. We are working to achieve equal rights and justice for all Guyanese.

Goals

SASOD’s work falls under three main programmes which is described as the ‘3H agenda’: Homophobia(s), Human Rights and Human Serives.

Combating Homophobia: SASOD is dedicated to the eradication of homophobia in Guyana and throughout the Caribbean; we have worked tirelessly to repeal discriminatory Guyanese laws, change local attitudes about the LGBT community, and end discrimination in the government, workplace, and community.

Human Rights Advocacy: Freedom from discrimination and hate-filled violence is a right for all people.  We at SASOD are committed to promoting the rights of all people, especially those whose voices are marginalized in Guyana today.  Children, women, and the LGBT persons have the full support of SASOD with regard to their human rights.

Health Services: SASOD is committed to the promoting health and well being through human services among the Guyanese LGBT Community.