Two months ago Trinidad and Tobago decriminalized consensual gay sex , which was previously punishable with up to 25 years in prison. While the news has invigorated LGBT rights advocates, the picture for gay rights in the region is still far from ideal: Same-sex relations are still illegal in nine Caribbean countries, all of which are part of the British Commonwealth. And while laws are not always enforced, they have a chilling effect on the local LGBT community, which can often face harassment, discrimination and even violence. I applaud Trinidad and Tobago for this watershed decision! I pray that decisions such as these spread throughout the Caribbean Diaspora and beyond. Although activists are moving forward, the region has a far way to go.
The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago is investigating allegations involving the chief justice, Ivor Archie, after local media queried his conduct in relation to Dillian Johnson, 36, who survived a night-time shooting outside his home in December. Johnson fled Trinidad to the UK three weeks after the shooting and says he fears for his life if he is forced to return. Questions have been asked about whether the married judge took Johnson with him to a four-day Commonwealth law conference in Guyana in , and whether he used his office to lobby for state housing for people, including Johnson. It was also alleged that he proposed to his fellow judges that they swap their state-provided personal security officers for others provided by a company that employed Johnson as a consultant.
Trinidad and Tobago court says laws barring gay sex are unconstitutional
Thomson Reuters Foundation - Gay sex between consenting men in Trinidad and Tobago could soon be decriminalised following a court judgment that campaigners said might spark similar decisions elsewhere in the Caribbean. A final judgment on how to deal with the sections of the act is expected in July, rights groups and local media said. The case was brought in by Jason Jones, an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT issues who lives in Britain but was born in Trinidad and Tobago. In an online campaign, he said he wanted to challenge laws inherited while the country was under British rule. Trinidad and Tobago became a republic in
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