Tomlinson, the Jamaican-Canadian activist lawyer who is challenging that law in court, writes here and in the Jamaican Gleaner:
Get out of gays’ bedrooms
If a Jamaican heterosexual couple wants to join the nearly 40 percent of their colleagues and try anal intercourse, they will likely just do it. However, some of Jamaica’s Parliamentarians want the public to know about and approve of this couple’s private act of intimacy. This perverse outcome is the result of a recent decision of the Parliamentary sub-committee reviewing the Sexual Offences Act, which recommended a referendum on the British colonially-imposed anti-sodomy law.
This ridiculous decision is not surprising and reflects the cowardice of some of my country’s elected leaders who have been cowed into submission by powerful religious extremists. Meanwhile in the over two years that the committee has deliberated about this law, rational courts around the world, including our Caribbean neighbors of Belize and Trinidad, have held that anti-sodomy laws violate a slew of constitutional rights similar to those found in our Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, including privacy, freedom of expression, and protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Making voyeurs out of the public also debases our society.
Even worse, global and regional organizations engaged in the HIV response, such as UNAIDS and PANCAP [the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS], have found that these statutes contribute to a raging epidemic, especially among men who have sex with men.
Thankfully, Jamaica has a robust justice system that is meant to protect the constitutional rights of minorities from the tyranny of misinformed majorities. I therefore expect that our courts will use the opportunity of my constitutional challenge to the anti-sodomy law to bravely end this archaic edict, as well as the international shame that our weak-kneed politicians have brought upon our country.
- Courts skew the case against Jamaican anti-sodomy law (, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaican official appeals: Let me join gay-rights case (July 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaican Supreme Court stacks the deck against LGBT rights (July 11, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- My lonely day as an outcast in a crowded Jamaican court
- Challenge to Jamaican anti-sodomy law gets under way (February 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Why I fight the Jamaican anti-sodomy law (Feb. 22, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Caribbean Court of Justice dismisses case filed by noted LBGT activist (June 2016, Trinidad Express)
- My selfish reasons for fighting Jamaican homophobia’ (March 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Death threats won’t stop Jamaican LGBT advocate (April 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaica: Inching towards legal equality (August 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Progress in Jamaica toward ‘world as it should be’ (76crimes.com)