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Gay-rights activist files appeal against court ruling in tolerance case

Published:Wednesday | September 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

Attorney-at-law and gay-rights activist Maurice Tomlinson has filed an appeal against a Constitutional Court ruling in which he was seeking a declaration that TVJ and CVM were in breach of the Charter of Rights by not airing a commercial promoting tolerance of homosexuals.

According to Tomlinson, the decision not to air the commercial was a breach of his constitutional rights. He is asking the court to set aside the ruling and grant the declaration that he was seeking.

Last November, the Constitutional Court threw out Tomlinson's initial application.

The court said the fact that the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica found nothing wrong with the advertisement wasn't a basis for saying that the defendants were in error for not broadcasting it. It added that editorial control gives the defendants the right to determine how they will deal with issues of public concern.

According to the court, each of the defendants must have the right to determine what it broadcasts, the time at which any broadcast is made, and the manner in which it is done.

The court also said each defendant must have the right to decide on its programming, having due regard to its audience and its objectives.

The Constitutional Court also determined that TVJ and CVM had not breached any of Tomlinson's rights.