Trinidad court overturns anti-sodomy law

Trinidad’s High Court today ruled that the nation’s law against same-sex intimacy is unconstitutional.

Supporters of LGBT rights demonstrate today outside Trinidad's Hall of Justice. Jason Jones, who suited to overturn Trinidad's anti-gay laws, is in the center.
Supporters of LGBT rights demonstrate today outside Trinidad’s Hall of Justice. Jason Jones, who suited to overturn Trinidad’s anti-gay laws, is in the center.

Justice Devindra Rampersad, who is presiding over the case, stated in his ruling:

“The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offences Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalise any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults.”

The nation’s anti-homosexuality law’s Sections 13 and 16 criminalize buggery and indecency, including consensual sex between adults. Trinidad inherited that law from its days as a British colony.

A final ruling in the case is scheduled in three months.

Caribbean/Canadian activist Maurice Tomlinson commented: “Love won!”

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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