Gov’t unlikely to appeal ECSC “buggery” decision say experts

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An Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) judge ruled on Tuesday that Antigua and Barbuda’s buggery law which criminalises anal intercourse is unconstitutional.

High Court Judge Marissa Robertson found that “the selection of an intimate partner is a private and a personal choice.”

The ruling added that the 1995 Sexual Offenses Act “offends the right to liberty, protection of the law, freedom of expression, protection of personal privacy and protection from discrimination on the basis of sex.”

The ruling came as a result of a motion for constitutional review filed by an openly homosexual male employee of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment and the group, Women Against Rape Inc.

The rarely used law states in part that two consenting adults found guilty of having anal sex would face 15 years in prison. If found guilty of serious indecency, they would face five years in prison.

Other penalties are in place for other groups engaging in anal inter- course, including minors.

The claimant testified that over his lifetime, he has been persecuted because of his sexual orientation. He also said that he was attacked and beaten in 2014 by a group of men be- cause he is homosexual.

He added that his work had also been impacted, as patients seeking help have refused treatment from him because of his sexual orientation, ac- cording to the ruling.

Meanwhile, the anti-rape group, which was the co-claimant, said con- cern over breaches of confidential- ity has prevented those in the local LGBTQ community from seeking HIV/AIDS testing or treatment as they are often treated with hostility by health care providers.

Courts in Belize and Trinidad & Tobago have found such laws unconstitutional, while other cases in Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis are pending.

The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality welcomed Tuesday’s outcome, which came in litigation that began in 2020 to challenge what it called “invasive and unconstitutional remnants of colonial law.”

In her ruling, Judge Robertson said that “the Constitution is often de- scribed as a living instrument which gives significant room for the realisation and enjoyment of individuals’ human rights.

Courts in Belize and Trinidad & Tobago have found such laws unconstitutional, while other cases in Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis are pending.

The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality welcomed Tuesday’s outcome, which came in litigation that began in 2020 to challenge what it called “invasive and unconstitutional remnants of colonial law.”

In her ruling, Judge Robertson said that “the Constitution is often de- scribed as a living instrument which gives significant room for the realisation and enjoyment of individuals’ human rights. POINTE XPRESS

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4 COMMENTS

  1. ANR what kind of misleading headline is that. The government cannot appeal since it was a Consent Order that both sides agreed to. The Attorney General realized that they could not mount any challenge to constitutional motion and therefore conceded.

    • CONSENT ORDER?: …AH HA! …GOVERNMENT’S INSTRUCTIONS?

      What the hell is this?

      So this is what ‘…Government’ has retained ‘…WATT AND ASSOCIATES’ through ‘…Dr. David Dorsett’ to do- ‘CONSENT’ to the ‘ORDER’ for ‘…CONSENSUAL BUGGERY?’

      The ‘…Good Doctor’ only acted upon ‘…GOVERNMENT’S INSTRUCTIONS.’

  2. Gaston has said in the past that his government would not repeal the law and that the courts should overturn it. In other words, he supports the change but does not think it would be politically wise in our “Christian society” (LOL) to support that. So someone else has done the “dirty work” for him and he can claim plausible deniability

  3. So ABLP consented to buggery? Sideline, Cermerle, who claimed ABLP is annointed by God, and Tenman, where are you????

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