Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Waiting for my day of justice

Published:Saturday | September 8, 2018 | 12:00 AM


On September 6, in a comprehensive 495-page judgment, the Indian Supreme Court (ISC) took the unusual step of overruling itself and redecriminalised consensual same-gender intimacy.

Just five years prior, the same court had upheld the British colonially imposed Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code on the grounds that, among other things, it only violated the constitutional rights of a small minority of LGBT citizens. However, referencing cases such as the historic Belize and Trinidad decisions that spoke forcefully about the need for constitutions to protect vulnerable minorities, the ISC wisely declared that human dignity must always triumph over the dictates of the majority.

Thanks to this forthright judgment, fully 75 per cent of the world's population now live in jurisdictions where LGBT people are not criminalised for whom or how they love.

Meanwhile, my 2015 constitutional challenge to Jamaica's version of the archaic law has been languishing while the Court of Appeal decides whether the public defender has a right to join the case. There is no timeline for when the matter will resume, and I am literally held hostage to the court's timetable.

While I wait for justice, the rest of the world is moving on to accept that the inherent dignity of human beings includes a right to our own bodies.


Montego Bay, St James