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Challenge to buggery laws to be heard in High Court next Wednesday

Challenge to buggery laws to be heard in High Court next Wednesday

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The matters filed by two gay men who have challenged St Vincent and the Grenadines’ buggery and gross indecency laws will be heard in open court next Wednesday, September 18.

According to the eccourts.org, both cases: Javin Kevin Vinc Johnson Vs The Attorney General Of Saint Vincent And The Grenadines and Sean MacLeish Vs The Attorney General Of Saint Vincent And The Grenadines, will be heard at the High Court by Justice Esco Henry.

Both Johnson and MacLeish are represented by lawyer, Jomo Thomas.

A release dated July 26, 2019 said that the men are unknown to each other and are advised by Jeremy Johnson QC and Peter Laverack of 5 Essex Court. And, they assert that their dignity and autonomy are stripped by the buggery and gross indecency laws.

The claims filed by both Johnson and MacLeish stated that they have been exiled from St Vincent and the Grenadines due to the “severely draconian and damaging effects of these laws”.

Johnson, 22, successfully claimed asylum in the United Kingdom in 2017 having established that he could not live as a gay man in St Vincent. 

MacLeish, who is 53, is a Vincentian resident in Chicago, Illinois. He has publicly advocated to the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines for the removal of these laws so that he may return home with his partner, but to no effect.

In 2018, LBGT activist Caleb Orozco successfully challenged Belize’s buggery law. This case is currently under appeal by the Catholic Church.

There have been other challenges of the anti-gay laws in the Caribbean this year, particularly in Trinidad where the claimant, Jason Jones’ case was successful. Similar challenges have also been filed in Dominica, Jamaica and Barbados.

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