Negotiamini Media
Truth is Powerful

Caribbean court strikes down gay ban in Antigua & Barbuda


A rainbow in Antigua Photo: Shutterstock A Caribbean court has ruled a law criminalizing gay sex to be unconstitutional .

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court found that “the selection of an intimate partner is a private and a personal choice,” and that Antigua and Barbuda’s 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.”

A gay man who worked for Antigua’s Ministry of Health had challenged the law, along with a local anti-rape group.

The 1995 Sexual Offenses Act criminalized acts of “buggery” and “serious indecency,” which were punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Though there is little evidence of the law being enforced in recent years, the U.K.-based Human Dignity Trust, which challenges the criminalization of homosexuality around the world, called the law’s very existence a violation of human rights which encourages acts of discrimination. The High Court of Antigua & Barbuda has struck down laws that criminalised consensual, same-sex activity in people aged 16 or over. The court found sections 12 & 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 1995, which address the offences of buggery and serious indecency, […]

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