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JASON JONES WANTS THE LAWS ABOLISHED. (PHOTO: TRINIDAD EXPRESS)
He has been disowned by his family and taunted for his sexual preference, and now gay rights activist Jason Jones is fighting back.
The Trinidadian, who now lives in London, has filed a lawsuit challenging the country’s buggery laws. He says he has no selfish motive but is on a mission to improve life for “future generations”.
The constitutional lawsuit filed in the Port of Spain High Court yesterday challenges Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act, which criminalizes buggery and serious indecency, including between consenting adults.
Jones is claiming that the legislation contravenes his constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of thought and expression. He added that it was in direct contradiction to Trinidad and Tobago’s international human rights obligations.
At the same time, his lawyers are making the case that their client is exposed to discrimination because of the law and has been subjected to “extensive societal prejudice, persecution, marginalization, and a lifelong entrenched stigma” because he is a homosexual.
As he filed his lawsuit, Jones told reporters that members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community in Trinidad face high levels of discrimination, and for this to change, the law must be abolished.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of the 2016 case filed by Jamaican Maurice Tomlinson who challenged Trinidad and Tobago’s and Belize’s immigration laws, which he said allowed for refusal of entry to homosexual visitors from the region.
The Caribbean Court of Justice had dismissed the case.