Trinidad and Tobago High Court ruled that the nation’s law that criminalized consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional on Tuesday, according to The Human Rights Campaign.
In his ruling Judge Devindra Rampersad stated:
The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offences Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalise any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults.
LGBTQ advocate Jason Jones filed a lawsuit in March 2017 stating that the law violated his right to privacy and freedom of expression, HRC reports.
Following his win, Jones said this ruling is a great opportunity for the twin-island nation to come together.
“What I think the judge pointed out was ‘here every creed and race find an equal place’ and I think we must all come together now and embrace each other in true love and respect,” he said. “This is not about LGBT, this is about the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, and I hope that everyone walks away from this calmly and collectively.”
A final judgment will be delivered in July, per reports.
The country’s attorney general, Stuart Young, said that the State plans to appeal the ruling, Looptt Reports.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.