Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association

tt.humanist :: forum :: commentary :: 2018 :: law

Law should not determine form of intimacy between consenting adults

14 April 2018 • 263 words

In the matter of Jones vs. the State on Section 6 of the Constitution, the Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association congratulates Jason Jones, our LGBTQ community leaders/organisers, folk and allies in the struggle to reclaim their innate Humanity and dignity respected by the laws guaranteed in our Constitution.

Justice Devindra Rampersad's reliance on Section 4 of our Republican Constitution is reassuring. Justice Rampersad reminds that Section 4 of our Constitution seeks to protect the rights of all citizens and those within our borders. His summary was visionary in scope and drew on historical evidence, rational analysis and compassion.

It is problematic that our existing Sexual Offences Act inappropriately inserts itself into the privacy of mutually consenting adults. Where adults consent, the law should not determine the form their intimacy takes. The law should also not rob persons of their dignity by deprecating as 'sexual indecency' all other forms of consensual, sexual expression other than male/female coitus.

The Association remains concerned for the negative impact on the development of our society and its Constitution through the unexamined use and application of Section 6 otherwise the 'Savings Clause'. Caribbean Jurist Prof. Drayton calls for greater reflection on the discriminatory character of laws of earlier times, on our current evolving circumstances and our society's future needs. Prof. Drayton also offered that "Our societies were forged less from the love of liberty than by generations of violence sanctioned by statute and common law."

It is no wonder that the same colonial powers who imposed these laws on us have long ago repealed them in their own societies.

T&T Humanist Association

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