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Jamaican activist challenges sodomy law

Sun 13 Dec 2015 In: International News

A Jamaican activist has launched a challenge to the country’s anti-gay laws, filing a claim at the Supreme Court. Leading LGBTI activist, Maurice Tomlinson, is challenging the constitutionality of the law which punishes consensual sexual conduct between men. Homosexual acts in Jamaica are punishable with up to ten years imprisonment and hard labour. “The law is a gross violation of my human rights and those of all LGBTI people in my country,” Tomlinson, who is a senior policy analyst at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, said in a statement. “It directly infringes numerous rights guaranteed by Jamaica’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, and also fuels horrific violence. “The criminalisation and marginalisation of consensual sex drives gay men and other men who have sex with men underground, away from desperately needed HIV prevention, treatment and testing services.” Tomlinson was forced to flee his homeland after he was outed by a local newspaper. An estimated 32.8 percent of gay Jamaican’s are HIV positive, a Caribbean Epidemiological Centre study shows the Caribbean has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world, only falling behind sub-Saharan Africa.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 13th December 2015 - 2:48pm

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