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Activists hoping T&T's ruling on buggery laws will spur change in Jamaica

Maurice Tomlinson
 
A ruling on Thursday by the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago has renewed hope by local activists that Jamaica's anti-sodomy laws can be defeated.
 
Maurice Tomlinson, Jamaican gay rights activist and attorney, filed a challenge to Jamaica's anti-buggery laws in December 2015.
 
Speaking on RJR's Hotline on Thursday, he noted that the law in Trinidad was open to challenge because of changes made to that country's Sexual Offences Act.
 
He believes changes to Jamaica's own Sexual Offences Act could result in the anti-buggery laws here also being declared unconstitutional.
 
"Our highest court, the Privy Council, has ruled on a case coming from Jamaica, Lambert Watson, that any change to a law...opens it up for a judicial review," he purported. 
 
Trinidadian High Court Judge Devindra Rampersad ruled that the law goes against the basic rights of any citizen to enjoy the freedom of  privacy and family life.
 
The law has not been struck down but the matter will be further ventillated in July after attorneys for the state and for gay rights activist Jason Jones make submissions to the court.
 
Jason Jones, a gay rights activist, challenged the constitutionality of  the criminalisation of same-sex provisions contained in Trinidad and Tobago's laws in 2017.


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