Apr 12, 2018

Trinidad and Tobago high court rules sodomy law unconstitutional

Human rights and LGBT activist Jason Jones.
Human rights and LGBT activist Jason Jones, a citizen of Britain and T&T, who filed a constitutional challenge agaisnt the buggery law. Photo: Sean Drakes / LatinContent / Getty Images

Trinidad & Tobago's LGBTQ community on Thursday secured a major victory after the Caribbean island’s high court ruled some sections of the long-standing buggery law, that criminalize consensual same-sex relations between adults, unconstitutional, per local media reports.

Why it matters: The island had been more tolerant of homosexuals than many Caribbean countries, but no laws currently exist that grant them equal rights. While the high court judge found the law "irrational and illegal," it will remain intact for a July hearing that will decide whether to modify or strike down the statue in its entirety, The Trinidad Express reports. Under the sodomy law, which is rarely enforced, the maximum punishment is 25 years in prison. The suit was filed last year by LGBT activist Jason Jones, who is a citizen of Britain and T&T.

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