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Churches To Rally Against Buggery Law Change

Discussion in 'latest News in Trinidad & Tobago' started by Neo, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Neo

    Neo Guest

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    Pentecostal and evangelical churches are currently mobilising for a demonstration on May 11 against any amendment to this country’s buggery legislation.

    On April 6, followers of the respective churches attempted to march through Port-of-Spain followed by a rally at Woodford Square, but were stopped in their tracks after police said no permission was given.

    The evangelical bodies are disgruntled over Trinidad-born gay rights activist Jason Jones’ recent High Court victory on behalf of the LGBTQI community on April 12.

    In his ruling on Jones’ lawsuit, High Court Judge Devindra Rampersad declared Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act, which criminalises buggery and serious indecency even between consenting adults, unconstitutional.

    Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has indicated the State will challenge the decision.

    But Pastor Kent Jacob, of the Covenant Life Transformation Ministries, has again voiced his displeasure on behalf of the churches throughout T&T with this process.

    Saying it was important to consider the AG’s position as the defendant in the matter, Jacob said: “I am not a student of law, but as a layman I think it very strange that the defendant in the matter would be echoing, in a somewhat justifiable way, the same sentiments as the claimant that filed the case against him.

    Jacob said he strongly believes from the ruling that Rampersad “had no alternative but to rule in the way that he did, since no evidence was presented by the defence.”

    In his argument, Jacob referred to paragraph 15 of Rampersad’s ruling, where he stated: “It must be noted that there was no evidence in this matter from any party but the claimant.”

    Jacob said it seemed the AG, in his stated intent to go as far as the Privy Council with the matter, has in fact stated an intent to push this legislation through the judicial process.

    “We also have to understand what is meant by ‘treat with discrimination against homosexuality’. In other jurisdictions, that means that an individual no longer has the right to choose not to provide a service to someone identified as LGBTQI. In this regard, the State can enact legislation to violate my rights in order to facilitate the rights of the LGBTQI community. May the God help us!”

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