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Anti-LGBTI groups warn Trinidad of ‘same sex marriage cancer’

Anti-LGBTI groups warn Trinidad of ‘same sex marriage cancer’

Trinidad Redhouse

Anti-LGBT groups in Trinidad have labelled same sex marriage as ‘ a cancer’ as the country leads up to what could be a historic moment for the country’s gay population.

LGBTI activist and ‘Tringlish’ citizen Jason Jones is calling for discriminatory anti-gay laws from the country’s British colonial past to be struck down.

However, anti-LGBTI groups are ramping up efforts in advance of the case ruling, which is expected on April 12.

Trinidadian anti-LGBTI groups ramp up pressure ahead of court ruling

Concerned Citizens for T&T is seeking to hold a demonstration outside the parliament building. while another faction led by Pentecostal ministers argues that if the laws are repealed, same-sex marriage will follow.

‘Same sex marriage is a cancer,’ said a spokesperson.

‘We must keep the buggery laws, if it is removed it is a slippery slope to same-sex marriage.’

One of the group’s members, Bishop Victor Gill, called homosexuality ‘unnatural and illegal’.

‘We are saying having rights and being right are two different things. You must respect the rights of others,’ he said.

‘As the LGBTQI… whatever other letter, it is not a human right. It is a human wrong.’

LGBTI activist calling for end to laws from Britain’s colonial past

Jason Jones is taking Trinidad and Tobago to court over anti gay british colonial buggary laws
Activist Jason Jones is taking Trinidad and Tobago to court over their anti-gay laws Sean Drake

Jones is challenging Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offenses Act.

Under the T&T law, gay sex is punishable with up to 25 years in prison. Other sexual activity is punishable with up to five years in prison.

Both male and female homosexuality is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago.

‘The very existence of these sections continuously and directly affects the claimant’s private life by forcing him to either respect the law and refrain from engaging – even in private with consenting male partners – in prohibited sexual acts to which he is disposed by reason of his homosexual orientation, or to commit the prohibited acts and thereby become liable to criminal prosecution,’ Jones says in his complaint form.

His lawyers means Jones is faced with public prejudice and ridicule as it labels LGBTI people as criminals.

In 2016, police launched an investigation after a high school teacher made threats to a student who criticized her homophobic statements to her class.

Read Jason’s opinion editorial for Gay Star News:

Evangelicals are trying to block a challenge to Trinidad and Tobago’s anti-gay laws