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In 2013, same-gender intimacy is criminalized under laws introduced by British colonialism in 11 out of the 12 Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean.
On Nov. 21, Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights, a 5-year international research and documentary film project working to advance social justice and equality for LGBT people, is hosting a special panel of Caribbean leaders who are working to advance Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in the region. The panelists will discuss the work and history of LGBT activism in Jamaica and Belize as well as current litigation to advance LGBT rights.
The panel discussion runs from 12:30 to 2:30pm in 1014 Helliwell Centre, Osgoode Hall Law School in the Ignat Kaneff Buidling on York University’s Keele campus.
Participating in the panel are:
York visual arts Professor Nancy Nicol (left), principal investigator of the research project Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights, will discuss the research and participatory videos currently in progress with LGBT partner organizations in the Caribbean.
Maurice Tomlinson, a legal adviser on marginalized groups for AIDS-Free World and a lecturer at University of Ontario Institute of Technology, will talk about the 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.
Caleb Orozco, executive director of United Belize Advocacy Movement, an LGBT rights organization in Belize, will discuss 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
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.
Excerpts from participatory video projects by Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights Caribbean partners will also be shown.
The event is sponsored by: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School (OHLS), York University; Sexuality Studies Program, York University; The Centre for Feminist Research, York University; OUTlaws, OHLS; Osgoode Feminist Collective; Black Law Students Association, OHLS.