Court makes it official: Trinidad anti-gay law is dead

Trinidad’s High Court has confirmed and clarified its April decision that overturned the Caribbean island nation’s colonial-era anti-sodomy law.

In London in April, Trinidadian/British activist Jason Jones celebrates the victory in his lawsuit to overturn the Trinidad anti-gay law -- and pushes for other Commonwealth countries to follow suit. (Photo courtesy of Edwin Sesange)
In London in April, Trinidadian/British activist Jason Jones celebrates the victory in his lawsuit to overturn the Trinidad anti-gay law — and pushes for other Commonwealth countries to follow suit. (Photo courtesy of Edwin Sesange)

CAISO: Sex & Gender Justice provided this summary of the Sept. 20 rulings on the Trinidad anti-gay law by High Court Justice Devindra Rampersad in the case filed by British/Trinidadian activist Jason Jones:

  • Anal intercourse between any two consenting adults, made legal on April 12, remains so.
  • Sexual intimacy between consenting adults of the same sex, made legal on April 12, remains so.
  • Young people 16 and 17 can now consent to non-penetrative sex with same-sex partners, in addition to opposite-sex partners.
  • The Government’s request for the judgment not to take immediate effect was denied.
  • The Government was ordered to pay Jason Jones’s court costs.
  • The case has concluded in the High Court. The Government is now able to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

For more information, see CAISO’s full report.

CAISE adds:

“Several media reports have already been filed locally, each with at least some small inaccuracy:

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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 info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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