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Wall: Being gay, a human rights issue

Published: 
Monday, April 16, 2018
Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, centre, chats with co-founder of Powerful Ladies of T&T Gillian Wall, right, and executive member Lyndira Oudit at the group’s 4th Annual Sports & Family day held at St Mary’s College grounds, Serpentine Road, St Clair yesterday. See Page A16. PICTURE NICOLE DRAYTON

Gillian Wall, Co-founder, Powerful Ladies of T&T (PLOTT) believes that the citizens of T&T have the right to choose their own lifestyle which also includes people who are involved in same-sex relationships.

“We believe that all citizens are human beings and the rights that we need to protect are human rights. It is a human rights issue and we believe that it is the State’s obligation in the area of citizen security and human rights which involves the right to a fair trial and the right to judicial protection, the right to privacy and the right to have one’s honour respected. We need to acknowledge in the case of consenting adults and also our inability to enforce laws with regard to consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes,” she said responding to a question on the issue from Guardian Media.

She was speaking at PLOTT’s fourth Annual Sports and Family Day St Mary’s Grounds, St Clair.

PLOTT is a female networking group providing support for female leaders while giving support to different causes. On Thursday, a High Court ruling by Justice, Devindra Rampersad determined T&T’s buggery laws are unconstitutional, null and void. In so doing, Rampersad paved the way for the controversial Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act to be changed or entirely struck off the law books of T&T.

Wall also called the law “archaic and inhumane.”

“The law actually criminalises anal sex. The buggery law specifically addresses the case of anal sex. The law clearly states that the person who commits the offence of buggery is liable to imprisonment of 25 years. We are fully in support of the repeal of the law. We find it hard to digest there is 25 years imprisonment for an act like that. It is also a law that we really cannot enforce. It is unconstitutional,” she said.

On the topic of T&T’s new female President, she said President Paula-Mae Weekes will provide inspiration for girls and women in the country.

“I think it (Weekes’ appointment) has had a tremendous impact. She represents strength, a woman of substance and sound judgement. What we are seeing is an increased level of collaboration between the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the President and we think that does well to inspire trust and confidence,” she said.

Last week, PLOTT found itself in an embarrassing situation when it claimed Weekes had objected to the realignment of Diego Martin Central MP Darryl Smith to the Ministry of Housing. The President issued a statement denouncing the organisation’s claims as fake news.

Mayor of Port-of-Spain, Joel Martinez, who spoke at the event, said PLOTT has challenged the status quo over the years and they are continuing to develop in a “wonderful way.”

“This is a signature event for the PLOTT, it is an event that brings corporations together, brings families together, not for the purpose of bacchanalia but for the purpose of bringing families of T&T together,” he said.

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