Gay student challenges Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law

A gay student from Jamaica is set to challenge the legality of the country's anti-sodomy law

Gay student challenges Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law
13 February 2013

Javed Jaghai, a student and Jamaican gay rights activist has initiated a challenge to the country’s anti-sodomy law.

AIDS-Free World, a Jamaican advocacy charity, filed a complaint against the law with Jamaica’s Supreme Court on behalf of Jaghai on February 7.

Jaghai says his landlord evicted him from his home because of his sexual orientation.

Posting on his Facebook page, Jaghai stated yesterday (12 February): ‘It is a reminder that there is much more work to be done to achieve equality for gay Jamaicans.

‘We can sit patiently while our humanity is denied and wait for the paradigm to shift in a generation or two, or we can aggressively agitate for change now. I choose to do the latter’.

Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law, originally introduced by the British colonial government, dates back to 1864 and punishes private consensual same-sex acts with up to 10 years in prison with hard labor.

Jaghai and AIDS-Free World say the law contradicts Jamaica’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms which explicitly guarantees the right to privacy.

Speaking with Gay Star News, Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican lawyer with AIDS-Free World said: ‘it is arguable that under the new constitution it is now impossible to enforce the anti-sodomy law without breaching the new right to privacy. 

‘Although the Jamaican government has resisted calls to repeal the law, the leaders of Jamaica’s major political parties have repeatedly said that they have no intention of prying into the bedrooms of consenting adults.

‘Confusion about the interpretation of these competing provisions in the Charter is wreaking havoc on the private lives of Jamaican gay individuals’.

The US State Department, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all criticized the Jamaican government for not doing enough to curb anti-LGBT violence in the country.

The court hearing for Jaghai’s case is set for the 25 June. 



No thumbnail available

Brighton Pride secured until 2020

UK’s biggest LGBTI park event has secured the right to use its home for the next six years
No thumbnail available

Anderson Cooper 'incredibly excited' to be getting GLAAD Media Award from Madonna

'Madonna? Are you kidding me? I sort of don't believe it's true"
No thumbnail available

Mario Lopez on underwear and his gay fans

Television personality launches a new brand of skivvies called Rated M
Russian founder of online gay teen support group fined thousands, teen responds in the best way
No thumbnail available
Father and son confess to murdering gay hairstylist in Puerto Rico

Father and son confess to murdering gay hairstylist in Puerto Rico

'The young man was alive several hours. I understand that he suffered greatly.'
No thumbnail available

GLAAD responds to Kirk Cameron's anti-gay comments

LGBT organisation say ex-child actor is 'out of step' with America
No thumbnail available

Justine Smithies: ‘We assume how they will react rather than giving them the opportunity to be understanding’

Smithies, a marine electronics engineer in the fishing industry, will never forget having to tell her boss about her transition
No thumbnail available

Catholics lose fight to stop gays from adopting

Adoption agency Catholic Care has lost its appeal against discrimination laws in the highest court of England
No thumbnail available

Backstreet Boys love their gay fans

Band member Nick Carter shows appreciation for gay fans who know how to have a good time