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LGBT rights in Trinidad and Tobago

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Homosexuality is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago. However homosexuals have not been actively targeted by the laws.

Criminal CodeEdit

Sexual Offences ActEdit

Trinidadian criminal code prohibits sex between two people of the same sex, as is the case in much of the English-speaking Caribbean.

Section 13 of the Sexual Offences Act 1986[1] criminalises "buggery". This section, strengthened in 2000,[2] states:

(1)  A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—
    (a)  if committed by an adult on a minor, for life;
    (b)  if committed by an adult on another adult, for twenty-five years;
    (c)  if committed by a minor, for five years.
(2)  In this section “buggery” means sexual inter­course per anum by a male person with a male person 
       or by a male person with a female person.

Section 16 relates to "serious indecency":

(1)  A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is 
       liable on conviction to imprisonment—
   (a)  if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age for ten years for a first offence and to 
          imprisonment for fifteen years for a subsequent offence;
   (b)  if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more for five years.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between—
   (a)  a husband and his wife; or
   (b)  a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to 
          the commission of the act.
(3)  An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person 
          involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.

Immigration ActEdit

Under Article 8 (18/1) of the Immigration Act,[3] homosexual men and women are not allowed to enter the country. However this law is not known to have been enforced.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), entry into Trinidad and Tobago of the persons described 
    in this subsection, other than citizens and, subject to section 7(2), residents, is prohibited, 
    namely-
       ...
      (e) prostitutes, homosexuals or persons living on the
          earnings of prostitutes or homosexuals, or persons
          reasonably suspected as coming to Trinidad and
          Tobago for these or any other immoral purposes;

EnforcementEdit

Sexual OffencesEdit

The government has not specifically targeted homosexuals under the "buggery" or serious indecency laws; however individuals (both heterosexual and homosexual) have been charged and convicted of these offences when coupled with other serious crimes.[4][5][6]

ImmigrationEdit

The law forbidding immigration is not know to have been enforced.

In 2007 a highly vocal campaign opposed Elton John's entry into the country. This was led by the local Anglican Church, in particular Archdeacon Philip Isaac.[7] The Tobago House of Assembly rejected the call to bar Elton John from entry, and the concert went ahead as planned in May 2007.[8]

Public attitudes toward LGBT peopleEdit

Trinidad is considered a 'relatively safe' destination for gay travellers.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Sexual Offences Act, 1986
  2. Sexual Offences Act, 2000 amendment
  3. Immigration Act
  4. The State v. Steve Williams
  5. The State v. Patrick Wellington & Kelvin Persad
  6. The State v. Jacob Ramjattan
  7. Elton John concert will corrupt Trinidad and Tobago
  8. Elton John free to menace Tobago
  9. GayTimes

See alsoEdit

Template:North America in topic

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