Jamaica activist brings legal challenge to anti-sodomy laws

Maurice Tomlinson

Maurice Tomlinson

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A Jamaican gay rights activist has brought a rare legal challenge to the Caribbean island’s anti-sodomy laws that criminalize sex between men.

Maurice Tomlinson has filed a claim in Jamaica’s Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the rarely-used 1864 laws that ban anal sex and anything interpreted as “gross indecency” between men.

In a Wednesday statement Tomlinson said the longstanding laws are a “gross violation of my human rights” and those of all LGBT people in Jamaica.

Tomlinson is a senior policy analyst at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

Aanother Jamaican gay rights activist made headlines in 2013 after initiating a constitutional court challenge to the laws. But that activist withdrew the case last year because of safety concerns.

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