Jamaica faces legal action over anti-gay laws

On Oct 26, 2012 PinkNews reported – Three people have launched legal against Jamaica due to the country’s continued enforcement of homophobic laws.

The case is being sent to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has the support of the Human Dignity Trust, an LGBT-rights group based in the UK.

The people are: Gareth Henry, who successfully obtained asylum in Canada due to the violent abuse and persecution he suffered in Jamaica, based on his sexual orientation.

Dane Lewis, the director of J-FLAG – Jamaica’s only human rights lobby group and Ian McKnight, CEO of Caribbean Vulnerable Communities –  who are the largest coalition of HIV/AIDS groups in the Caribbean.

The Jamaican criminal code prohibits sex between men and sentences for buggery can include 10 years imprisonment with hard labour – the laws date back to the island’s colonial past.

In December of last year, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller promised to review the country’s homophobic legislation.

However, campaigners have accused her of inaction. Continued