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Sunday 23 September 2018
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Final ruling in gay-rights case Sept 20

LGBTQI protesters stand near the Hall of Justice waiting for the judgement on the constitutionality of TT's buggery law. Photo: Kalifa Clyne
LGBTQI protesters stand near the Hall of Justice waiting for the judgement on the constitutionality of TT's buggery law. Photo: Kalifa Clyne

THE HIGH Court judge who ruled in April that this country’s sodomy laws were unconstitutional will give his decision on whether the section of the Sexual Offences Act, which criminalises consensual sexual conduct between male adults should be struck down.

Justice Devindra Rampersad yesterday set September 20 for his final ruling in the constitutional claim won by Trinidad-born gay rights activist Jason Jones.

At the April hearing, the judge did not immediately strike down section 13 of the act.

At yesterday’s hearing at the Port of Spain High Court, Rampersad also had some harsh words for those who, he said, had embarked on a route that could bring the independence of the Judiciary into question.

Rampersad said he had no issue with criticisms of his ruling, but was troubled by statements that suggested he had an agenda or was biased.

He again reminded that the case before him was not one of morality or religion, but strictly about the law.

He said in his April ruling, “This is not a case about religious and moral beliefs but is one about the inalienable rights of a citizen under the republican Constitution of TT; any citizen, all citizens. This is a case about the dignity of the person and not about the will of the majority or any religious debate.”

Also joining the judge in condemnation of the unfair criticisms was Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein, who is leading the case for the Attorney General. Hosein said he shared the judge’s view that the case was not about morality or religion, but justice and getting it right.

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