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Issues surrounding denial of advert promoting tolerance of homosexuals to be heard in court today

Published:Monday | May 27, 2013 | 8:58 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

The Constitutional Court is to begin hearing today an application brought against the island’s two free-to-air television stations for refusing to carry an advertisement promoting tolerance of homosexuals.

Human rights activist and Attorney-at-Law, Maurice Tomlinson, is accusing the television stations of breaching the Constitution.

The legal challenge also includes the government-owned Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica.

Tomlinson is arguing that the actions of the stations violate the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

The human rights activist is contending that the Charter guarantees the right of Jamaicans to seek, receive, distribute, or disseminate information, opinions and ideas through any media.

Tomlinson says this right was included in the Charter when it was passed in 2011.

The human rights activist is claiming that the stations have previously taken payment and aired similar advertisements promoting tolerance.

He is claiming that the television stations have given no justifiable reason for refusing to air the latest advertisement and he wants the court to find that their actions are breach the Constitution.

Tomlinson is being represented by Attorneys-at-Law Lord Anthony Gifford and Anika Gray.

The court hearing is expected to last until Friday.


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