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Trinidad and Tobago has just legalised gay sex

Trinidad and Tobago have struck down a colonial-era law that criminalized gay sex in the islands.A high court judge ruled on Thursday that the historic laws banning “buggery” are unconstitutional and will be struck down.  Judge Devindra Rampersad said in the momentous ruling that the laws banning “serious indecency” infringed on the constitutional rights of the around 100,000 LGBT people on the islands. “The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offences Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalize any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults,” Judge Rampersad said.Under the law, men convicted of penetrative sex with another man could be imprisoned for 25 years, while any other gay or lesbian sexual acts can result in a five-year prison term.Trinidad and Tobago’s law against gay sex was originally introduced by British colonialists but has been maintained and encouraged since.The parliament of the islands increased the maximum penalties for gay sex between consenting adults twice in the last thirty years, once in 1986 to 10 years imprisonment, and once in 2000, to 25 years.The ruling comes after Jason Jones, an LGBT rights activist, sued the government of Trinidad and Tobago in an effort to repeal the colonial-era law.

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