Jamaica: Jamaica should abolish its colonial-era gay sex ban, the top rights body of the Americas stated on Wednesday, in a symbolic landmark ruling on LGBT+ rights in the Caribbean.
Two Jamaicans who inaugurated the case in 2011, after they were beaten by homophobic gangs and sought asylum overseas, said the 1864 ban on the “abominable crime of buggery” and “gross indecency” legitimized brutality against LGBT+ individuals.
Thomson Reuters Foundation stated, “I’m overwhelmed with happiness,” Gareth Henry, one of the claimants who is now a refugee in Canada.”
“Gays and lesbians remain to be killed and tortured because they are deemed to be not-similar,” he said, describing how the police attacked him in front of a mob.
For the first time, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has commanded that criminalizing gay and lesbian people disrupts international law, said the Human Dignity Trust, an LGBT+ legal support group that brought the case into the light.
Jamaica is one of nine Caribbean nations that criminalize gay sex. ILGA advocacy group says homophobia is rife, and the punishment for same-sex intimacy is up to 10 years in jail with strict labor. Gay sex is forbidden in 68 countries worldwide.
Wednesday’s ruling said Jamaica’s law disrupted Henry and Simone Edwards’s rights, who fled to Europe after being shot repetitious times outside her home to human operation, equal protection before the law, privacy, and freedom of movement.
The Washington-based IACHR is considered as the human rights arm of the Organization of American States, designed to protect human rights in the region without its enforcement powers.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in the year 2014 when in opposition, he wanted to put the gay sex ban to the people in a “Grand Referendum,” along with marijuana, abortion, and whether Britain’s Queen Elizabeth must stay head of state.
The IACHR declaration was made in September 2019 but remained strictly confidential under its regulations until Wednesday.