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Friday 18 October 2019
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Gov’t sued over TT’s ‘no entry to gays’ law

TRINIDAD-born, UKbased gay rights advocate Jason Jones is taking the Government to court over this country’s ban on the entry of gays under immigration law.

The claim will be filed today in the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain.

He is being represented by lead counsel Richard Drabble QC, Trinidadian attorney Rishi P.A. Dass and instructing attorney Antonio Emmanuel.

Jones, 53, will be asking the local courts to ensure that the discipline of law and constitutionality enshrined freedoms are formalised and normalised to protect the human rights of all citizens.

In a statement yesterday, Jones said he grew up in Port-of-Spain and faced almost daily homophobic bullying and threats of violence because he was gay.

“My family made me homeless and I have been lucky enough to be able to rebuild my life in the United Kingdom, a modern and tolerant society, where I am protected and live my life free and equal.

“I have the opportunity now to help my fellow LGBT Trinbagonian citizens find an equal place in Trinidad & Tobago.

I undertake this challenge in the hope that our country will respect my rights to love whomever I choose,” Jones said of his constitutional claim.

He said it is important that the country ensures that constitutional freedoms are protected as TT has signed and ratified specific international human rights agreements.

Jones said the laws that are being challenged are in direct contravention of these agreements.

Jones is the second gay rights advocate to challenge local laws as it relates to the exclusion of homosexuals.

In 2003, Jamaican gay rights activist and attorney Maurice Tomlinson took TT and Belize to court over immigration laws in both countries.

In his claim filed in the Caribbean Court of Justice, Tomlinson alleged that he has been prejudiced in the enjoyment of his right as a Caricomnational to enter Belize and Trinidad and Tobago without hassle, due to the their respective Immigration Acts, which included homosexuals as a class of persons prohibited from entering these territories.

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