Gay rights activist brings legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law


(Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)

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Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican gay rights activist and attorney, has filed a claim in the Supreme Court of Judicature, challenging the constitutionality of Jamaica’s laws criminalising consensual sex between men.

The legal challenge — which will be announced at a press conference tomorrow in Kingston, Jamaica according to a news release issued by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network — is being supported by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and AIDS-Free World.

The release said in its arguments, the legal challenge outlines the ways in which the law violates the constitutional rights of Jamaicans.

The current law, Offences Against the Person Act of 1864, criminalises consensual sexual conduct between men. This includes not only a prohibition on “gross indecency” between men, but also a provision that outlaws the “abominable crime of buggery”, ie anal sex, including between any people of any sex,the release explained.