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Two men file court proceedings challenging anti-gay laws in St Vincent and the Grenadines

The Caribbean nation still follows the archaic British Colonial laws criminalising homosexuality

2019-07-29

Words: Steve Brown

Two men have filed court proceedings to challenge St Vincent and the Grenadines’ ‘buggery’ and ‘gross indecency’ laws.

Both men were forced to flee the Caribbean nation due to the severely draconian laws and have filed claims, under the advice of Jeremy Johnson QC and Peter Laverack of 5 Essex Court, that their dignity and autonomy were stripped because of the laws.

Javin Johnson, 22, claimed asylum in the UK in 2017 after establishing he couldn’t live as an openly gay man in his home country of St Vincent.

Sean Macleish, 53, is currently living in Chicago and has publicly advocated to the nation’s Prime Minister for the removal of the laws so he can return home with his partner, without any fear.

The two claimants, although they don’t know each other, are both calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the Caribbean nation.

The court challenges come after former Attitude Pride Award winner Jason Jones successfully challenged Trinidad and Tobago’s anti-gay laws.

The two challenges are expected to be heard together in the High Court in Kingstown. The British Privy Council may have ultimate say on these colonial-era laws, as St Vincent and the Grenadines still sends its appeals to the old imperial court in London.