Why I fight the Jamaican anti-sodomy law

Maurice Tomlinson (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
Maurice Tomlinson (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Jamaican LGBTI rights activist / attorney Maurice Tomlinson explains here some of the background of his legal challenge against Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law. Court action on that challenge is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday).

Why I fight the Jamaican anti-sodomy law

On March 19, 2012, I (AGAIN) reported an email death threat that I had received as a result of my activism for the rights of LGBTI Jamaicans.  The police officer taking my report advised that it would be only a matter of days before they could tell me the source of the threat, which I had used their computer to download.  After many follow-up calls and emails the police did nothing about the threats, or gave me any updates.

Nearly four years have passed and I can only assume that the reason that they failed to act was because they considered me an unapprehended criminal.

When I had first reported the threat a year before, the recording officer stated that he hates gays and they (WE) make him sick.  When the matter was reported to an Assistant Commissioner of Police he stated that such attitudes were unfortunate but that they would not change until the law was changed.

Since then, I have not gone back to the police with notice of my other death threats.  I do not think anything will happen, not until the anti-sodomy law is repealed.

I am therefore fighting for my own safety, and that of ALL LGBTI Jamaicans.  We must be able to count on our police to protect us.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


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  1. Dear Maurice
    I saw you on CBC this morning – I just wanted to wish you all the best in your fight – please stay safe – I admire your courage.
    Best regards – Bev

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