Tag Archives: Caribbean

LGBT Equality Litigation in the Caribbean: Thurs Nov. 21, 1230-230


LGBT Equality Litigation in the Caribbean facebook event page.

Today, same-gender intimacy is criminalized in 11 of the 12 Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean under laws introduced by British colonialism. Join us for this panel of Caribbean leaders who are working to advance LGBT rights in the Caribbean. The panelists will discuss the work and history of LGBT activism in Jamaica and Belize as well as current litigation to advance LGBT rights including the following cases:

·         Inter-American Commission on Human Rights A.B., S.H. v Jamaica P-1249-11

·         Javed Jaghai v Attorney General of Jamaica 2013 HCV 00650

·         Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM and Another 2012 HCV 05676

·         Maurice Tomlinson v Belize AND Maurice Tomlinson v the State of Trinidad and Tobago CCJ Application Nos. OA1 & OA2 of 20130. Caribbean Court of Justice

·         Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize

·         Quincy McEwan et al vs. Attorney General of Guyana (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination) (see here for more on this case)


Maurice Tomlinson will speak about legal cases in Jamaica, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago as well as the influence of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in human rights jurisprudence across the region. Tomlinson is Legal Advisor, Marginalized Groups, for AIDS-Free World and a Lecturer at University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Caleb Orozco will speak about the constitutional challenge to the Criminal Code of Belize, which criminalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” in which he is the litigant.  As well, he will speak about the obstacles and strategies for LGBT human rights in Belize. Orozco is the Executive Director of United Belize Advocacy Movement, an LGBT rights organization in Belize.

Brian-Paul Welsh will speak on the history of Jamaican LGBT activism from the 1970’s to the present. He will discuss the formation and evolution of the Jamaican LGBT group J-FLAG. Welsh is a law student and Advocacy Coordinator with J-FLAG and CariFLAGS, leading LGBT organizations in the Caribbean.

Nancy Nicol is the Principal Investigator of the research project Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights. She will discuss the research and participatory videos currently in progress with LGBT partner organizations in the Caribbean. Nicol is Associate Professor in Visual Arts at York University.

Excerpts from participatory video projects by Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights Caribbean partners will also be shown.


Sponsored by: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Sexuality Studies Program, York University; The Centre for Feminist Research, York University; OUTlaws, OHLS; Osgoode Feminist Collective; Black Law Students Association, OHLS.


For more information, Email: envision@yorku.ca. Phone: 416-736-2100, ext 44567.

Website: www.envisioninglgbt.com

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is a 5-year international research and documentary film project working to advance social justice and equality for LGBT people. Envisioning is a partnership of mutual learning bringing together 31 LGBT organizations based in Africa, India, the Caribbean and Canada to research and document criminalization, resistance and flight from persecution. Envisioning is housed at the Centre for Feminist Research, York University and supported by a Community University Research Alliance Grant, SSHRC.




Panelist Bios:


Maurice Tomlinson, an attorney-at-law involved in Caribbean LGBTI and AIDS activism for over 14 years, is Legal Advisor, Marginalized Groups for AIDS Free World, an NGO co-founded by Stephen Lewis. He lectures law at the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology. In 2011, Maurice received the inaugural David Kato Vision and Voice Award.  He previously served as legal advisor to Jamaican LGBTI and AIDS organizations and had to flee Jamaica in 2012 when a newspaper published his wedding to a Canadian man.  He has since returned and is counsel on IACHR and Constitutional challenges to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law. He also appears as claimant in regional immigration litigation and in a freedom-of-expression case against 3 Jamaican television stations. Maurice is working on a project to document human rights violations against Caribbean LGBTI and together with his husband, Rev. Tom Decker, delivers LGBThuman rights training for police services around the region.




Caleb Orozco is an LGBT/Human Rights advocate, health educator and activist with two decades of experience in the human development sector. For the past seven years, he has worked primarily within the field of HIV and human rights as Executive Director and founding member of the United Belize Advocacy Movement. Through legislative analysis, litigation, and public education, he has worked tirelessly to advocate for a participatory and rights based approach to health services for HIV affected and marginalized populations and for the eradication of discriminatory laws that impact these communities in the Caribbean.  He is the principal litigant in the Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize constitutional challenge to Section 35 of the Criminal Code. Orozco is active at the hemispheric level in international and regional organizations, such as the UN and the OAS, to raise the standard of protection and human rights enforcement for LGBT populations. He is the author of articles and shadow reports.




Brian-Paul Welsh developed a keen interest in social justice and human rights while at Campion College and the University of the West Indies (UWI), and it led him into formal activism through organizations such as Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, and J-FLAG. He is a firm believer that HIV is a metaphor for the inequities of society and that these inequities cannot be addressed until their injustice is confronted. He has worked nationally, regionally, and internationally in the field of HIV and human rights and continues advocating for the rights of sexual and gender minorities as an advocacy coordinator with J-FLAG and CariFLAGS. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws degree through the University of London and intends to be a legal advisor in the field of international development.




Nancy Nicol is a documentary filmmaker and activist, as well as the founder and Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights. She teaches video art, documentary and art and activism at York University. Her films include the award-winning documentary series From Criminality to Equality, on the history of lesbian and gay rights organizing in Canada. Nicol’s documentaries have screened widely in international film festivals and are used in universities and colleges throughout North America. She is currently working on a documentary shot in India that examines queer organizing and the legal challenge to s. 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the first of the British colonial laws on ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’.  She is also working on a documentary about Botswana, where the first African challenge to the same colonial law has been launched, and on participatory video projects with Envisioning partners in Africa and the Caribbean.





New digital resource: Black Women Writers (Alexander St. Press)

Black Women Writers  is a digitized collection of more than 100000 pages put together by  Alexander Street Press.  Access is available through the Yorku Library system (sorry, it’s not universal) and has an amazing range of items, historical and contemporary.  I am particularly interested in the range of non fiction Caribbean items (e.g. Writing Rage: Unmasking Violence Through Caribbean Discourse, by Paula Morgan and Valerie Youssef. (Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies, 2006))  but the fiction titles are very tempting. Poetry too!


H/T Osgoode Librarian Yemisi Dina.