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Mar 17, 2015

Acting Immigration Director Maria Marin Testifies in Tomlinson’s CCJ Case

Maurice Tomlinson

Gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson, who is challenging the existing immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad & Tobago, was back before the Caribbean Court of Justice today.  Tomlinson is suing the governments of both countries on the basis that their laws are discriminatory towards prohibited classes, including the LGBT community.  On May ninth, 2014 the CCJ ruled in favor of Tomlinson, granting him special leave to challenge the immigration laws.  While CARICOM has joined the case as an interested party and will be making submissions to support Tomlinson’s claim, Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin took the stand this morning where she was grilled by the panel of judges on the present statutes.  Marin is accompanied in Port of Spain, Trinidad by Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke.  On Wednesday, immigration officials from Trinidad & Tobago will also testify in the matter.  Tomlinson has since refrained from returning to both countries pending the outcome of the CCJ’s decision.  This afternoon, News Five spoke with Tomlinson via Skype.

 

Maurice Tomlinson, Gay Activist

“Today, the court heard from myself and the two immigration officers or acting chief immigration officers—one from Belize and one from Trinidad—and we all presented our evidence. I presented my situation in terms of not wishing to visit because of the existence of the law and they presented that the laws are generally not enforced. After that, the court heard from my attorney who again expounded on my position and there were questions about the fact that the law is not regularly enforced and if that would amount to satisfying my request, which I don’t think it does because there is a lot of uncertainty as to when the law would be enforced. If the government changes, for example; or the immigration officer decided to ignore the directive and do so…he wouldn’t be acting in contravention of the law. And then they heard from the solicitor general, I believe Mister Hawke, from Belize, who made the case that the law is not regularly enforced so there is no need to repeal it.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Even if there was a repeal of this particular law and the court would judge in your favor, would you still have any intentions of visiting Belize?”

 

Maurice Tomlinson

“Oh yes, I have work to do in Belize. As I indicated before, the reason I filed this case is because I am engaged in regionally work to document the abuses about LGBT people and to advocate for the repeal of laws and policy which drive is underground away from effective HIV interventions. So my work continues. I just can’t do it in Belize and Trinidad at this time, but I’m certainly doing that in other countries in the region and I wish to go back to Belize and Trinidad which are two of the major players in CARICOM.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“You mentioned Trinidad as being party to this suit. Have they presented and what has been their overall response either legally, by way of presentation or what have you, in this particular case?”

 

Maurice Tomlinson

“Tomorrow morning, Trinidad will present followed by CARICOM and the position, if I can summarize it as best as I can, from what the cross examination experience, the law is not regularly enforced and therefore again, because it is not regularly enforced, there is no breach. And as I have said, my position is that the fact that there has been no breach is no guarantee that there will never be a breach of my right to freedom of movement. And so this uncertainty in my mind is a violation of the right to uninhibited free movement within CARICOM.”

 

As we said, also testifying in this morning’s session was the Acting Director of Immigration, Maria Marin. The CCJ wanted to ascertain if there is a policy in the department to enforce law which denies entry to gays or homosexuals. Marin’s interpretation was that there is policy and that no one has been prosecuted despite the law. The matter continues on Wednesday.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Acting Immigration Director Maria Marin Testifies in Tomlinson’s CCJ Case”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    this scum if he feel not to visit our Jewel who care. We don’t need him and because of this scum we have to send our immigration officers to court to fight against his agenda? what the hell! if gays feel unwelcome in Belize well stay away from Belize, we’ve said it over you’ll never change our culture of believing in man and woman as natural was based on from start of life.

  2. BenJah says:

    Just because these FAGGS can’t do what they want in Belize then they taking Belize’s Immigration to Court. These Life styles ruin a country, Stay in your own Country you #$%^&.

    Lev. 20:13
    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

  3. BenJah says:

    This Maricon, should go to IRAQ or Syria

  4. OriginalWoman says:

    He got a hell of a nerve!!! If you feel uncomfortable in Belize Mr./Ms. Tomlinson then it’s simple, stay OUT OF BELIZE!!! That’s like, if I felt unwanted at neighbor or a friend’s home, then instead of leaving and not return, I go to the police and try to file a case against them!!! But on what grounds??? In this case, because most Belizeans are not being supportive of the “new world order/agenda on gay marriages” we are being taken to court!!! So we are forcibly being told to accept the “perversion” as a “legal lifestyle” or else face consequences!!! @ BenJah, the Muslims in Iraq and Syria are DEFINITELY NOT HAVING NO PARTS OF THIS NEW AGENDA and the “powers that be” already know this to be a fact. Mr./Ms. Tomlinson would not even live a day to go on their media and say he would take them to court for not agreeing to perversion. it would NEVER happen in any middle eastern country!!!

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