Maurice Tomlinson challenges the immigration laws of Belize

vlcsnap-2013-07-17-19h25m16s236A hearing for special leave under the original jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will be heard in November as Jamaican homosexual advocate Maurice Tomlinson challenges the immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, which he says legally bar him from entering either country because he practices sodomy. Under the CCJ’s original jurisdiction, only parties to the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas can bring cases against each other that will require interpretation of that treaty. All Caribbean countries are parties to the treaty, however, Tomlinson’s native Jamaica has refused to intervene in the case because his rights have not been infringed on. Tomlinson in January of this year declined an invitation to attend a workshop hosted by the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and later claimed that he was barred from seeing his son compete in the national Spelling Bee finals. He was previously married to a female friend who knew of his sexual preference but he later “married” a Canadian police officer and “pastor” and now lives with him in Canada where such behavior is openly embraced.  This morning was the final case management conference session in which it was agreed that both cases, OA 1 vs Belize and OA 2 vs Trinidad would be heard together at 11:00 a.m. Trinidad time, 2 hours ahead of Belize, on November 12. If Tomlinson’s application is successful the main trial would follow at a later date. This is one prong of a sustained assault on Belize’s legal foundation, as Belize is also dealing with Caleb Orozco’s suit over Belize’s sodomy laws. The country is still awaiting a decision on that matter at the Belize Supreme Court.

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