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Thursday 20 September 2018
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27 TT laws discriminate against gays

THERE are 27 laws in this country which result in discrimination against homosexuality.

Attorney General Faris Al - said this yesterday during a press conference at his office.

He was asked to comment on Government’s position on a High Court judge’s determination that two sections of the Sexual Offences Act were unconstitutional.

Explaining that there were two ways in which the country could treat with its laws, either through Parliament or through the courts, Al-Rawi said on this particular issue a High Court judge had made a determination.

“There is strong advocacy for and against the issue. That requires the law to be settled so that the other 26 laws can perhaps have a reflection upon the same determination. The Court of Appeal will be approached and the Privy Council will ultimately be approached. That is so it is not arguable as to which view should be accepted over another view, because once your appellate court has spoken with finality, you are bound to treat with the law in a particular fashion.

It, therefore, provides a conclusive determination of a very heated and live issue.”

Al-Rawi said he was acting as the attorney general for all the people of TT and was acting with the concept of equality being enshrined in the fundamental rights of the Constitution.

“The law is in a state of flux and it deserves to be settled in final form, and therefore I take no view one way or the other on the issue.”

He added that the government joined in the sentiments expressed by President Paula-Mae Weekes, that there should be measure and calm on the issue.

“We respect the democracy and the rights, the freedom of association, expression, private and family-life principles that our constitution upholds and we certainly do believe that there ought to be a calm and reasonable approach to this issue.”

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