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Monday 23 September 2019
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EOC welcomes gay rights ruling

The Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) yesterday said it was pleased with the court’s landmark decision on Thursday in overturning the country’s sodomy law, which it deemed unconstitutional.

“The commission wishes to announce that it is pleased with the court’s decision in Claim No CV2017-00720 Jason Jones -v- Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago and we look forward to working with all stakeholders in pursuing the next steps to afford the LGBTI community equal opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago,” EOC chairman Lynette Seeberan-Suite said in a statement.

Seeberan-Suite said the EOC stood ready to work alongside policy makers at every level to appropriately address this issue of equality of persons of different status.

Applauding Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi for the support he has always given to the work of the commission, Seeberan-Suite said she looked forward to collaborating with him on the legislative amendments needed to address this issue. Al-Rawi has said Government will appeal the ruling.

The EOC chairman said she hoped the decriminalisation of sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act, which secured Jones’ historic victory in the courts, would now clear the way for positive remedies and avenues of combating discrimination such as access to our complaints procedure at the commission.

Seeberan-Suite said the commission has been advocating for and actively pursuing amendments to the Act and other relevant laws and policy reform, in the areas of sexual harassment, domestic violence, disability and sexual orientation.

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