Opponents of Trinidad’s buggery law presented their case yesterday at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain. A ruling is expected April 12 from Justice Devindra Rampersad, who is presiding over the case.
Newsday of Trinidad & Tobago reported on the two sides’ arguments yesterday at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain.
British Queen’s Counsel Richard Drabble is representing Jason Jones, an “openly homosexual man” who is challenging the law. He was born in Trinidad and currently living in the United Kingdom:
Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act, which criminalise buggery and indecency between adults, are not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society, Drabble said. For Jones, as a homosexual male, Section 13 breaches his rights. There is no justification for the underlying criminalisation of sexual acts.
Drabble also argued that the long-standing legislation contravened Jones’ constitutional rights to privacy and were in direct contradiction to the country’s international human-rights obligation.
“What aim was the legislation pursuing?” he asked. He labelled the law “undemocratic legislation.”
Fyard Hosein, SC, lead counsel for the Attorney General, said this was not a case of morality or homosexuality, but law.
“It doesn’t matter how moral or archaic the law is. … The court has to uphold the law,” he said, warning, also, that the court did not have the power to modify the law.
- Trinidad suit could help undo Caribbean anti-gay laws (
- Legal challenge confronts Trinidad’s anti-gay laws (February 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Gov’t sued over TT’s ‘no entry to gays’ law (February 2017, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday)
- Seeking LGBTI rights in Trinidad, finding them in Canada (September 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Despite his claims, Trinidad leader clings to anti-LGBT laws The prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago claims that the government must protect its LGBT citizens, but he won’t work to repeal the Trinidadian laws that make same-sex intimacy a crime. (June 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Caribbean nations inch their way toward LGBTI rights (April 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Activists go head-to-head with unaware Trinidad boosters (August 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Timeline lacking as Trinidad pushes for LGBT rightsDecember 2012, 76crimes.com)
- Trinidad moves toward protecting gay rights (December 2012, 76crimes.com)