New push against bug­gery law

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS - CALVIN BRATH­WAITE (left)

AD­VO­CATES of gay rights are step­ping up ini­tia­tives to have Bar­ba­dos’ bug­gery laws struck down.

The lat­est move came with the launch of In­ti­mate Con­vic­tion, a jour­nal sup­ported by the Cana­dian HIV/AIDS Le­gal Net­work, the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto Fac­ulty of Law, at the Uni­ver­sity of the West In­dies (UWI).

Mau­rice Tom­lin­son, se­nior pol­icy an­a­lyst with the Cana­dian HIV/AIDS Le­gal Net­work, told a small gath­er­ing of mem­bers of the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual trans­gen­der and queer (LGBTQ) com­mu­nity that the book pro­vided ev­i­dence of sup­port by Chris­tians.

“A ma­jor im­ped­i­ment to de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion is the ar­gu­ment that the law re­flects pub­lic moral­ity as seen in uni­fied Chris­tian ob­jec­tion to de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion.

“How­ever, this book proves that there is no sin­gle view on this is­sue and in fact many Chris­tians op­pose crim­i­nal­is­ing con­sent­ing same-sex in­ti­macy,” Tom­lin­son told the Bar­ba­dos Na­tion.

In­ti­mate Con­vic­tion is an edited col­lec­tion of pre­sen­ta­tions to a two-day con­fer­ence in Ja­maica in Oc­to­ber 2017 sup­ported by the Cana­dian HIV/AIDS Le­gal Net­work and Angli­cans for De­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion.

Ad­vances

An in­tro­duc­tion in the book by Tom­lin­son and Rev. Sean Ma­jor-camp­bell notes: “This sum­mit was the first ever dis­cus­sion of the role (past, present and fu­ture) of the church in the de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of sodomy.

“It was held be­cause, although there have been rapid ad­vances for LGBT rights in some coun­tries, there are still more than 70 that crim­i­nalise pri­vate con­sen­sual same-sex ac­tiv­ity – and more than half of those are in the Com­mon­wealth of Na­tions and nine in the Caribbean.”

Three Bar­ba­di­ans, in­clud­ing trans­gen­der woman Alexa Hoff­man, on June 6 filed a pe­ti­tion against Bar­ba­dos be­fore the In­ter-amer­i­can Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights chal­leng­ing the Sex­ual Of­fences Act, which re­gards bug­gery as a crim­i­nal of­fence.

The Bar­ba­dos law, which speaks to “bug­gery” and “se­ri­ous in­de­cency” dates back to 1868 and car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of life in prison.

“The law has been en­forced but not the max­i­mum penalty. The law has been en­forced but I don’t know when was the last con­vic­tion,” Tom­lin­son said. ( HH) fur­ther in­struc­tions when they were in­ter­cepted by law en­force­ment. De­fen­dants stated that they trans­ported the mar­i­juana in the large black bags and red suit­case and utilised the rental ve­hi­cle Chevy Sil­ver­ado to trans­port it from ho­tel to ho­tel. Both ad­mit­ted knowl­edge of the mar­i­juana traf­fick­ing [and] both were trans­ported to the Broward Sher­riff’s Of­fice jail.”

An of­fi­cial of the Clerk of Courts in Broward County said if Brath­waite and Ben­skin “step foot on United States soil, they will be ar­rested”.

(RD)

(HLE)

MARIA TERESA SOLANO MARCHENA on her first court ap­pear­ance.

(FP)

and Dyson Brath­waite.

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