The LGBT community gained a major victory in their fight for equal rights on Thursday after a High Court judge ruled that this country's buggery laws were in contravention of the constitutional rights and freedoms of gays by criminalising sexual relations between persons of the same sex.

Celebrations broke out outside the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain by members of the community as news came that Justice Devindra Rampersad ruled in favour of Trinidad-born gay rights activist Jason Jones, who filed a constitutional motion challenging Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act, which makes buggery and serious indecency illegal even between two consenting adults.

Even though the judge found that the laws were irrational and illegal, it remains on the statute books, pending a future hearing in July on the way forward, that is, whether the court could modify or strike out the laws in its entirety. Attorneys for both Jones and the Office of the Attorney General are to file written submissions on the issue prior to the hearing date.  

 

 

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