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Trinidad and Tobago facing legal action by gay activist over homophobic ban

December 5, 2012

A gay rights activist from Jamaica is planning to sue the neighbouring country of Trinidad and Tobago because of a law that prevents gay people from setting foot on the twin island.

Go-Jamaica reports Maurice Tomlinson has decided to appeal Section 8 of Trinidad and Tobago’s Immigration Act.

According to Article 8 of the act, “homosexuals” are banned from entering Trinidad and Tobago.

It also categorises gay relationships as immoral.

Mr Tomlinson had been invited to visit Trinidad and Tobago for a United Nations Family planning workshop.

But in order to attend it is claimed he would have had to lie about his sexuality to the authorities.

Last year, Mr Tomlinson got married in Canada to a male police officer.

Meanwhile, Jamaica, Mr Tomlinson’s home country, also has a poor record when it comes to LGBT rights.

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson recently said anti-gay laws in the country should change “for the greater good”.

In December of last year, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller promised to review the country’s homophobic legislation.

But the prime minister has been accused of in action and three people launched legal against Jamaica’s anti-gay laws in October.

The Jamaican criminal code prohibits sex between men and sentences for buggery can include 10 years imprisonment with hard labour – the laws date back to the island’s colonial past.

More: Americas, anti-gay law, anti-gay laws, Carribean, Gay rights, homophobic law, Jamaica, Jamaica, LGBT rights, Trinidad and Tobago

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