New push against buggery law
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.
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”.
MARIA TERESA SOLANO MARCHENA on her first court appearance.
and Dyson Brathwaite.