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Canadian advocacy group hopes Belize ruling in anti-buggery laws case will influence Jamaica

Published:Thursday | August 11, 2016 | 1:13 PM

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network says it hopes yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Belize, in case against the country’s anti-buggery laws, will persuade Jamaica to abandon its anti-buggery laws.

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has described the ruling as groundbreaking and potentially game-changing.

It notes that 10 states in the Caribbean, including Jamaica continue to cling to British colonially imposed anti-gay edicts.

It argues that such outdated laws contribute to hate and violence against LGBTI people, and exacerbate the HIV epidemic in the region.

It says it is supporting the ongoing constitutional challenge of Jamaica’s anti-buggery laws by Jamaican lawyer and rights activist, Maurice Tomlinson.

The Network says although yesterday’s ruling is not binding outside of Belize, it hopes it will be highly persuasive in Jamaica and other countries in the region.

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in Canada and internationally.

Tomlinson is a senior policy analyst with the Network.