Foe of Trinidad buggery law gets his day in court

Opponents of Trinidad’s buggery law presented their case yesterday at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain. A ruling is expected April 12 from Justice Devindra Rampersad, who is presiding over the case.

Jason Jones arrives at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for the Jan. 30 hearing on his lawsuit seeking to overturn the country's buggery law. (Rattan Jadoo photo courtesy of Newsday)

Jason Jones arrives at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for the Jan. 30 hearing on his lawsuit seeking to overturn the country’s buggery law. (Rattan Jadoo photo courtesy of Newsday)

Newsday of Trinidad & Tobago reported on the two sides’ arguments yesterday at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain.

British Queen’s Counsel Richard Drabble
is representing Jason Jones, an “openly homosexual man” who is challenging the law. He was born in Trinidad and currently living in the United Kingdom:

Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act, which criminalise buggery and indecency between adults, are not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society, Drabble said. For Jones, as a homosexual male, Section 13 breaches his rights. There is no justification for the underlying criminalisation of sexual acts.

Drabble also argued that the long-standing legislation contravened Jones’ constitutional rights to privacy and were in direct contradiction to the country’s international human-rights obligation.

“What aim was the legislation pursuing?” he asked. He labelled the law “undemocratic legislation.”

Fyard Hosein, SC, lead counsel for the Attorney General, said this was not a case of morality or homosexuality, but law.

“It doesn’t matter how moral or archaic the law is. … The court has to uphold the law,” he said, warning, also, that the court did not have the power to modify the law.

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Zambia police seek alleged lesbian couple

Alleged Zambian lesbians who are the targets of a police hunt. (Photo courtesy of Zambian Watchdog)

Alleged Zambian lesbians who are the targets of a police hunt. (Photo courtesy of Zambian Watchdog)

Police in Zambia have launched a nationwide hunt for a couple who are suspected of being lesbians, based on online photos of them posing together.

Another photo of the alleged Zambian lesbians who are the targets of a police hunt. (Photo courtesy of Zambian Watchdog)

Another photo of the alleged Zambian lesbians who are the targets of a police hunt. (Photo courtesy of Zambian Watchdog)

Under Zambian law, people convicted of same-sex intimacy can be imprisoned for 15 years to life. Women convicted of “gross indecency” can be imprisoned for seven to 14 years.

But Zambian police are acting as though mere sexual attraction among women, rather than sexual intimacy, is a criminal offense. They also are acting as though online rumors are a valid basis for a nationwide appeal for help tracking down two women.

As a result of the police presumptions, today (Tuesday, Jan. 30) Zambian media reported:

Female gay couple face arrest

(Zambia Watchdog)

Police in Lusaka are looking for a gay lesbian couple identified as Kachana and Grace Tembo.

The couple have been flaunting their relationship and intimate pictures on social media.
Homosexuality is an offence in Zambia under indecent and laws prohibiting unnatural acts. …

Police launch investigations into the case of two Zambian Lesbians

(Lusaka Times)

A third photo of the alleged Zambian lesbians who are the targets of a police hunt. (Photo courtesy of Zambian Watchdog)

A third photo of the alleged Zambian lesbians who are the targets of a police hunt. (Photo courtesy of Zambian Watchdog)

The Zambia Police Service says officers are looking for the two ladies whose pictures went viral on social media alongside a story purporting that they are in an intimate relationship.

In a statement, Tuesday, Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo asked anyone with relevant information which could lead to the arrest of the two ladies to come forward.

Police spokesperson Ester Katongo … says Police officers from the Cybercrime unit have since instituted investigations in the matter involving the two girls.

She has appealed to people with information that may be helpful in the investigations to report to any nearest Police Station so that perpetrators are brought to book.

This is the Zambia police statement:

Esther Katongo, public relations officer for Zambian Police. (Photo courtesy of Lusaka Times)

Esther Katongo, public relations officer for Zambian Police. (Photo courtesy of Lusaka Times)

LUSAKA, 30TH JANUARY, 2018 – There is a picture trending on social media where two girls are reported to have been in an intimate relationship.

In Zambia, it is an offence for people of the same sex to engage in an intimate relationship or sexual affair .

Section158 subsection 1 and 2 of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia addresses Indescent Practices between Persons of same sex. Section 158 (2) states that ” Any female who, whether in public or private , commits any act of gross indecency with a female child or person , or procures a female child or person to commit any act of gross indecency with her , or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any female person with herself or another female child or person whether in public or private, commits a felony.”

Any person convicted of this offence is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and a maximum sentence of fourteen years.

Further, section 155 (a) of the Penal Code under Unnatural Offences, criminalises canal knowledge against the order of nature and anyone found guilty is liable to imprisonment for a term not less than fifteen years while the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

I wish to state that Police Officers have taken keen interest in the story and pictures circulating in which two girls are reported to have been having an intimate relashionship. Officers from Cybercrime unit have instituted investigations in the matter. We therefore call upon people with information that may be helpful in the investigations to report to any nearest Police Station so that perpetrators are brought to book.

— ESTHER MWAATA KATONGO, ZAMBIA POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

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The post Zambia police seek alleged lesbian couple appeared first on Erasing 76 Crimes.


Source: 76crimes

Nigeria: Traditional chiefs curse gays, help anti-gay police

A gathering of traditional chiefs in Nigeria.

A gathering of traditional chiefs in Nigeria.

Traditional rulers in the Egor local government area of Edo State have rained down curses on homosexuals and are helping police on anti-LGBT raids.

According to the Nigerian newspaper Leadership, Chief Nathaniel Enyeula said traditional chiefs are joining police raids seeking to arrest homosexuals in the area.

Enyeula, who is chairman of the Egor Traditional Rulers Council, said the chiefs consulted the Priest of Owema, which is believed to be the highest deity in Egor, and offered traditional libations to counteract homosexuality.

He said chiefs and police officers moved from house to house between midnight and 1 a.m., seeking suspected homosexuals (and violating their rights to privacy).

Location of Edo State in Nigeria. (Map courtesy of The Nation)

Location of Edo State in Nigeria. (Map courtesy of The Nation)

Among their targets were two alleged “leaders of a gang of sodomists” who were arrested in 2016, jumped bail and remain on the police wanted list. They were among four men — Emmanuel Okafor, Abraham Richard, Ebendu John and Okpara Imo — who were reportedly arrested  on homosexuality charges on Feb. 10, 2016.  Okafor and Richard violated bail and are still sought by police.

Ukpeh displayed photographs of the suspected gay men before newsmen at Egor. He said that if the two men are re-arrested, the arrests would scare homosexuals and make them change.

He called on the public to watch for gay people and out them to the police.

Nigeria’s anti-LGBT law, the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2014, provides for prison sentences of up to:

  • 14 years for entering into a same-sex marriage.
  • 10 years for attending a same-sex wedding.
  • 10 years for a “public show of same-sex amorous relationship.”
  • 10 years for belonging to any “gay organization,” whether it is seeking recognition of human rights for LGBT people, meeting the spiritual needs of LGBT people, or providing health care for LGBT people.

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The post Nigeria: Traditional chiefs curse gays, help anti-gay police appeared first on Erasing 76 Crimes.


Source: 76crimes

‘Murder preacher’: Jamaica has banned me

Pastor Steven Anderson

Pastor Steven Anderson

Anti-LGBT American preacher Steven Anderson says that Jamaica has banned him from visiting the country, where he planned to conduct a week-long evangelism trip. He was the target of an online petition urging Jamaica to prevent the “murder preacher” from fomenting violence with his violently anti-homosexual preaching.

Anderson posted a video today saying that he had flown to Atlanta, Georgia, but then was blocked from boarding the plane to Kingston, Jamaica, by airline employees who told him the government would not allow him to land in Jamaica.

He claimed that Jamaica is “supposed to be a sovereign nation” but “really can’t do their own thing.” People from the United States, from the United Kingdom “or whoever” had pressured Jamaica to be “pro-homosexual,” Anderson said, despite an “anti-homosexual” population.

Instead, he said, he would travel to “a different Caribbean country” tomorrow after spending a night in Atlanta.

 

 

 

 

The post ‘Murder preacher’: Jamaica has banned me appeared first on Erasing 76 Crimes.


Source: 76crimes

Trinidad suit could help undo Caribbean anti-gay laws

Location of Antigua in the Caribbean Sea. (Map courtesy of TuchmanTravelGuide.com)

Trinidad & Tobago is located at the southeastern end of the Caribbean Sea, just off the coast of South America. (Map courtesy of TuchmanTravelGuide.com)

A court hearing tomorrow in Trinidad could set the stage for overturning anti-LGBT laws in Caribbean countries.

The lawsuit was brought by Trinidad-born LGBT rights activist Jason Jones, who lives in the United Kingdom.

Jamaica-Canadian lawyer/activist Maurice Tomlinson says that a ruling in favor of Jones “would be persuasive” but it would not be binding on other Caribbean nations.

It would have a generally positive effect in the region, similar to the Belize Supreme Court decision in 2016 that overturned that nation’s anti-LGBT law.

“Each of the independent Caribbean countries with anti-sodomy laws would have to abolish them through their own courts or Parliament. That is what my own case before the courts in Jamaica is trying to do,” Tomlinson said.

The following Pink News report on the Jones lawsuit apparently overstates the impact of a ruling in Jones’s favor following tomorrow’s hearing:

A court ruling could be about to legalise gay sex in eight Caribbean countries

Jason Jones (Photo courtesy of St. Lucia Times)

Jason Jones (Photo courtesy of St. Lucia Times)

Gay sex could be about to be legalised in eight Caribbean countries.

The potentially momentous ruling would come about through Trinidad-born LGBT rights activist Jason Jones, who is taking his country to court in an effort to decriminalise homosexuality.

If the campaign – which PinkNews supports – is successful, it would also make gay sex legal in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent. [Editor’s note: Tomlinson supports the lawsuit, but disagrees about its direct impact outside Trinidad.]

As it currently stands, men convicted of penetrative sex with another man can be imprisoned for 25 years, while any other gay or lesbian sexual acts can result in a five-year prison term.

Jones expects a decision to be returned a few weeks after the hearing, which is set for [tomorrow] January 30.

“I am a criminal simply because I am a gay man,” he wrote.

“There are around 100,000 LGBT people on my islands, all living with the threat of criminal law hanging over them.

“We inherited these laws from Britain, but my own Government extended the law from only gay men to include lesbians as well after we gained our independence.”

“I am a criminal simply because I am a gay man,” he wrote.

He said the laws “violate my human rights and encourage homophobia and hatred from my fellow citizens against the LGBT community, and therefore MUST be removed.”

Jones opened up about the hate which he has received since he started his legal challenge in February last year.

“I have received more than 60 death threats, and hundreds of messages of hate on my social media pages,” he said.

“I live in fear for my safety and have become completely isolated from friends and family because I don’t want anything to happen to them back home.”

Speaking to the Washington Blade, he said that “people have threatened to throw petrol on me and set me on fire.

“They are writing ‘boom bye bye battyboy’ on my Facebook page. How can I ignore that?

“Some of these threats are real. I haven’t been able to sleep properly.

“Every strange call, odd sound or anything remotely off has me frightened.”

He said that the murder last month of transgender woman Keon Alister Patterson on the island emphasised the case’s significance, even if it also made him more worried.

“As much as talking about the risks and difficulties in a country where we are criminalised is important – the more we do, the more the reality of this murder leaves me feeling so scared,” he said.

A court ruling earlier this month ordered 16 countries in Central and South America to make same-sex marriage legal.

A court ruling earlier this month ordered 16 countries in Central and South America to make same-sex marriage legal.

[Editor’s note: Among the 16 countries affected by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling, one of them — Barbados — has a law against same-sex intimacy. If Barbados complies with the court order alone, it would allow same-sex marriage but prohibit those married couples from having sex.

The other 15 countries do not have anti-LGBTI laws: Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname.]

To donate to support the Jason Jones lawsuit, visit JustGiving.com. So far, the fundraising campaign has raised £7,738 toward its £15,000 target.

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