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Tuesday 13 November 2018
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DON’T BAN SEX TOYS

Dr Raj hits customs action as ridiculous

SEXOLOGIST Dr Raj Ramnanan intends to petition the High Court to amend a law that restricts the importation and sale of adult toys in TT.

Ramnanan says sex toys pose no harm to anyone and if those toys are to be banned, baigans and cucumbers which can be used as phallic objects should also be banned.

He owns and operates Total Image, a clinic that treats with sexual dysfunctions and issues, where he also sells sex toys.

He is the host of Sexplosion, a radio talk show which he uses to educate the public and dispel sexual myths.

His statements comes a day after local courier companies began informing their customers that a list of items, including adult toys, are illegal to import and will be seized by the Customs and Excise Division if they are imported.

Speaking to the Sunday Newsday, Ramnanan described the implementation of Section 46 (g) of the Criminal Offences Act as ridiculous.

The section states: “Any person who offers for sale or distribution or who exhibits to public view any profane, indecent, or obscene, paper, print, drawing, painting or representation may be deemed a rogue and a vagabond and if found liable, to imprisonment for two years.”

“The law is on the law books and while I don’t blame customs officers for doing their jobs, I am the only qualified sexologist in the Caribbean, and I can tell you it is ridiculous.

You have to blame the legislators, nobody has the gumption or testicular fortitude to say let us change the sex laws in this country,” Ramnanan said.

He added, “What are people going to use? A baigan, a cucumber?

All of those things were used before as phallic objects, are we going to ban those things as well, if we are being so ridiculous?” Ramnanan said he had already put together a legal team and drafted a letter that he intended to present to the Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi tomorrow morning.

Al-Rawi, who is not in country, told Sunday Newsday via Whatsapp that he would respond to the concerns tomorrow.

Al-Rawi added, “This is a customs and Ministry of Finance issue as line ministry, perhaps best to contact Minister (Colm) Imbert.” Ramnanan meanwhile said sex toys were not just for pleasure.

“I have a clinic where people need these things to fix themselves, they use these toys as a part of their treatment, there is a legitimate reason for these things and I see thousands of people every year who have a need for this kind of treatment.”

He said the law was only implemented in the first place because Trinidadians had copied English law to the constitution.

“That is an old English law that we copied and paste when we were drawing up our constitution, England has done away with these laws, why can’t we follow suit?”

Recalling recent landmark rulings, Ramnanan said he was fully confident that if the matter reached the High Court, a decision would be made in his favour.

“Our judicial system is very good, we have judges who understand what is happening in the wider world and they are very progressive and educated, so I am confident that this will be dealt with swiftly and in our favour.”

Efforts to contact Imbert, under whose ministry Customs falls, were unsuccessful.

When asked whether police would be enforcing this law as well, newly appointed Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said, “There are laws in TT, if anyone breaks the law, the police would be obliged and will act in the manner that they are expected to so do.”

Griffith would not comment further.

National Security Minister Stuart Young responded to questions via Whatsapp, saying, “That is a matter for Customs and Excise which falls under the Ministry of Finance. Kindly contact either.”

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