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Jamaican gay rights activist heads to CCJ

Published:Friday | December 26, 2014 | 9:40 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has been granted leave to make written and oral submissions in the case brought by Jamaican attorney and gay rights activist, Maurice Tomlinson, who is challenging the immigration laws of Trinidad and Tobago and Belize.

The laws in both countries prohibit the entry of homosexuals.

Meanwhile, regional LGBT group (CARIFLAGS) has also been granted permission to make a written submission in the case.

The matter is set for a case management hearing in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on January 21, 2015, after which a trial date will be fixed.

Tomlinson states that he is a homosexual and contends that he had to turn down invitations to visit Trinidad and Belize in connection with his work as legal advisor for the organisation AIDS-Free World.

The gay rights activist contends that it is an affront to his dignity to be obliged to limit his free movement in CARICOM because of his sexual orientation.

Tomlinson is contending, among other things, that the immigration laws violate his freedom of movement under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramus.

He is seeking a declaration from the CCJ that the provisions of the immigration laws of Trinidad and Tobago and Belize prevent his lawful entry.

Tomlinson is further seeking orders that the countries amend their immigration laws so as to remove homosexuals from any class of prohibited immigrants.

He is also seeking damages for the violation of his right to freedom of movement.

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