High Court Judge Of Trinidad And Tobago Rules The Criminalization Of Same-Sex Activity Unconstitutional
Today, April 12, marks a historical moment as the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago has ruled the criminalization of same-sex relationships and activity as unconstitutional.
This decision has come in response to a suit filed against the government of Trinidad and Tobago in March of 2017. Filed by Jason Jones, who is an advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, the suit dictates that Section 13 and 16 of the penal code of the Sexual Offenses act does nothing more than villainize consensual acts between two adults.
Many agreed with this move, and a pro-equality rally was held by Trinidadians outside of Parliament as they demanded equality for all.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, during his ruling, Judge Devindra Rampersad said, “The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offenses Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalize any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults.”
Though this feels like a major win, final judgements will not be officially declared until July. Organizers, including the Coalition Advocating for the inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) have committed themselves to seeing things through as they strive to seek protections for the LGBTQIA+ community by adding clauses to the country’s Equal Opportunity Act, which would help shield those connected from wrong.