Last year, Javed Jaghai, a young gay Jamaican, was evicted from his home by his landlady when she discovered his sexual orientation. The landlady alleged that Javed’s homosexuality meant that he would be engaging in an illegal activity on the premises. While homosexuality is not illegal in Jamaica, the country’s1864 British colonially imposed anti-buggery law criminalizes all acts of intimacy between men, even if they take place behind closed doors.
Javed has therefore filed the first-ever legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law, which will have the initial hearing on June 25. Javed is seeking a court order that the law violates his rights to privacy and equality, which were significantly enhanced under the country’s 2011 Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.
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