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Gay rights advocate case to go before CCJ this month

Published:Friday | March 6, 2015 | 3:58 PMJerome Reynolds

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is to travel to Jamaica on March 17 and 18 to hear the application filed by human rights and gay rights advocate, Maurice Tomlinson, against the Governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Belize.

The hearing is to be heard via video link at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.

Tomlinson, who is being represented by attorney-at-law Imran Ali, is contending that the immigration laws of both countries violate his right to freedom of movement and his right not to be discriminated against on the basis of his nationality.

The attorney is arguing that homosexuals, under the immigration laws of Trinidad and Belize, are listed among undesirable persons who are prohibited from entering both countries.

Tomlinson, who admits to being a homosexual, says he cannot enter Trinidad or Belize without breaching the laws.

He is arguing that the presence of the laws is a breach of his right to free movement as a CARICOM national. 

The attorney is seeking several declarations including a ruling that the immigration laws of Trinidad and Belize are in violation of his rights to freedom of movement and his right not be discriminated against on the basis of his nationality under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

He also wants the CCJ to grant a declaration that the laws should be amended to remove the barring of homosexuals from entering Trinidad and Belize.

The human rights and gay rights advocate is also seeking damages.

Trinidad and Belize are opposing the application.

CARICOM is to make written and oral submissions in the case on behalf of the regional body.