Trinidad and Tobago Set to Decriminalize Homosexuality

Trinidad and Tobago is set to decriminalize homosexuality after a high court judge ruled Thursday that the Caribbean nation’s colonial-era law banning gay sex is unconstitutional.

“The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offenses Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalise any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults,” Justice Devindra Rampersad wrote in his ruling.

Section 13 of the country’s Sexual Offenses Act states that a person who engages in “buggery” — another term for anal sex — could face up to 25 years in prison. Section 16 states that an individual who “commits an act of serious indecency” — defined as an act “other than sexual intercourse” involving the “use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire” —could face 5 years in prison.

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