Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Opposition Leader Godwin Friday have noted the right of persons to challenge laws that criminalise buggery. The two leaders expressed their views separately this week after court action by Vincentians - 53 year old Sean MacLeish and 22 year old Javin Johnson - challenging the constitutionality of the laws. Gonsalves said the essence of the legal challenge is that it is unconstitutional to outlaw anal sex among consenting adults in the privacy of their home.
But many are still wondering what exactly does the ruling mean and what changes now that the judgement has been made? Jason Jones is a year-old Trinidad-born gay and human rights activist who also holds British citizenship. Jones said these laws infringe upon his rights as a gay man.
The years from to constitute the founding era of what became the United States. In the early years of this era, in these American colonies, the penalty for sodomy was death, and a number of executions are documented. Sodomy was usually conceived of then as anal intercourse between men.
The British English term buggery is very close in meaning to the term sodomyand is often used interchangeably in law and popular speech. It may also be a specific common law offence, encompassing both sodomy and bestiality. In English law, "buggery" was first used in the Buggery Actwhile Section 61 of the Offences against the Person Actentitled "Sodomy and Bestiality", defined punishments for "the abominable Crime of Buggery, committed either with Mankind or with any Animal". The definition of "buggery" was not specified in these or any statute, but rather established by judicial precedent.
Facing an allegation arising from an alleged incident 40 years ago is daunting. But when the law has changed several times to reflect public opinion, it is all the harder to understand for a Defendant. The Crown had alleged that the Defendant had taken the Complainant for a birthday drink on his 15th birthday but had proceeded to get him drunk and then had penetrated him with his penis in the back of his Ford Cortina.
Related Terms: SodomyBestialityZoophilia. Synonymous with sodomy and referring to "unnatural" sex acts, including copulation, either between two persons of the same sex or between a person and an animal the latter act also known as bestiality - see also zoophilia. Most countries outlaw bestiality but homosexual activity is gradually being decriminalized.
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In our jurisdiction, the Privy Council is the highest Court of Appeal and the Privy Council is best suited to settle this matter. That is essential so because this particular pronouncement is in relation to one law only. In April, Justice Devindra Rampersad ruled that sections 13 and 16 of the act, which criminalized sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex, was unconstitutional and on Thursday gave his final ruling in the landmark case of Jason Jones versus the attorney general.