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Mar 18, 2015

Arguments in Tomlinson Versus Belize and Trinidad & Tobago Conclude in CCJ

Maurice Tomlinson

Attorneys concluded arguments today at the Caribbean Court of Justice on behalf of the governments of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaican gay rights activist, Maurice Tomlinson, is challenging the immigration laws of both countries on the grounds that the laws prohibit the entry of homosexuals. Tomlinson is claiming that by denying him entry, his rights as a CARICOM national are being violated and that his freedom of movement is protected under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Tomlinson is seeking the CCJ to make a number of declarations including amendments to the laws. On Tuesday, the court heard statements from Belize in which it was said that no LGBT citizen had been turned back from Belize and while the law denies them entry, as a matter of policy, they are not banned from visiting. The case of a ship that called on port years ago with homosexuals, was cited an example. Judgement has been reserved by the CCJ which is sitting in Jamaica.

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