Dominica High Court overturns ban on same-sex relations

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The High Court in Dominica has decided to lift a ban on consensual same-sex relationships in the country. This means that certain laws that made it illegal for adults to engage in same-sex activity were found to be against the constitution.

The case was brought by a gay man who lives in Dominica. He argued that these laws violated his rights under the constitution.

LGBTQ activists are happy about this decision, calling it a big step forward for LGBTQ rights in the Caribbean.

The court found that specific parts of the Sexual Offences Act, which made consensual same-sex activity between adults a crime, were not in line with the constitution. The judge said these laws violated the rights to liberty, freedom of expression, and privacy.

The person who brought the case, an openly gay man, said these laws made him live in constant fear of being punished for something he should be able to do freely. He also mentioned that these laws led to hateful and violent behavior towards him and other LGBTQ people.

A representative from a charity called Minority Rights Dominica welcomed the ruling, saying it’s a step towards respecting people’s dignity and protecting LGBTQ rights.

However, they also mentioned that this doesn’t mean homophobia will disappear overnight. It will take time for attitudes to change.

A human rights organization, Outright International, also praised the decision, saying it helps LGBTQ individuals live openly without fear. They mentioned that many Caribbean countries have repealed similar laws in recent years, but some still have them in place.

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