High Court Judge Devindra Rampersad ruled that the buggery law is unconstitutional and goes against the basic rights of any citizen to enjoy the freedom of privacy and family life.
The judge said it was unfortunate when society, in any way, values a person or gives a person their identity based on their race, colour, gender, age or sexual orientation.
He said to now deny a perceived minority their right to humanity and human dignity would be to continue the type of thinking experienced in apartheid South Africa and the holocaust in Germany.
Jason Jones, who lives in the United Kingdom but frequently returns to TT, says he does not enjoy the same rights as heterosexual people because of Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act.
Jones' lead attorney, British Queen's Counsel Richard Drabble, says are not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. Drabble contended that as a homosexual male, Section 13 breaches Jones' rights.
- 13. (1) A person who commits the offence of buggery is liable on conviction to imprisonment for twenty-five years.
- (2) In this section "buggery" means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.
- 16. (1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years.
- (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between-
- (a) a husband and his wife;
- (b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to the commission of the act; or
- (c) persons to whom section 20(1) and (2) and (3) of the Children Act apply.
- (3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.
In response to Jones' claims, Fyard Hosein, SC – lead counsel for the Attorney General, said this was not a case of morality or homosexuality, but law. "The court has to uphold the law," he said, warning, also, that the court did not have the power to modify the law.
Even though the judge found that the laws were irrational and illegal, it remains on the statute books, pending a future hearing in July on the way forward. The legislation was passed by a two-fifths majority in Parliament.