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Consenting adults can now have gay sex in Trinidad and Tobago without fear of prosecution

The High Court ruled that consenting adults of the same sex will no longer be prosecuted

2018-09-21

Trinidad and Tobago have legalised homosexuality in a High Court ruling.

Activist and Attitude Pride Award winner Jason Jones argued that Sections 13 and 16 were unconstitutional and in April, the court ruled in his favour and overturned the colonial-era laws.

However, the government challenged the ruling but on Thursday (September 20), the High Court didn’t strike down the legislation completely but ruled that consenting adults of the same sex can no longer be prosecuted for engaging in sexual acts.

The Attorney General said he will now appeal the decision.

Writing on Facebook, Jones said: “Obviously a momentous victory. I’m still trying to remain calm because I have so much work to do.

“Thanks to u all!”

The law was part of the British colonial era when the Caribbean was part of the British Empire.

Justice Devindra Rampersad ordered the phrase “without consent” must be inserted into Section 13 (2) of the Act.

It reads: “In this section ‘buggery’ means sexual intercourse without consent per annum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.”

Section 16 was ordered to amended to now read that “persons” instead of a “male person and female person”.

In the initial ruling in April, Rampersad said: “This court must and will uphold the Constitution to recognise the dignity of even one citizen whose rights and freedoms have been invalidly taken away.”