The Caribbean Court of Justice is currently tending to constitutional challenges to the Immigration laws in Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, laws that claimant, Mr. Maurice Tomlinson says legally bans him from entering either country because he is a practicing homosexual. But as that case gets off the ground, yet another constitutional challenge filed by Mr. Tomlinson, has wrapped up in the Supreme Court of Jamaica. Mr. Tomlinson filed suit against three media companies, after they refused to carry a commercial promoting tolerance toward homosexuals. Because of this refusal, claims Tomlinson, his constitutional rights were infringed upon. On Friday morning, a verdict was handed down in favor of the media houses. It was a unanimous decision by a panel of three judges – the Honorable Paulette Williams, the Honorable Justice Sykes and the Honorable Justice Pusey. Plus News has received a copy of their 129 page judgment, which states:
“There is no doubt that Mr. Tomlinson has the right of freedom of expression. There is no doubt that he can express himself in any manner that is capable of transferring an idea from his mind to another. [However that] does not mean that Mr. Tomlinson has a right to use another person’s property to disseminate his views… I do not see how the right to seek, receive and disseminate opinions and ideas promoting respect for human rights of homosexuals translates into a right, enforceable by court order, to use another private citizen’s radio or television broadcasting equipment to propagate those views.”
What this means is that the Court maintained that the media stations also have a freedom to speak or in this case, not to speak and as such they do not have a legal obligation to provide air time to anyone wishing to speak on an issue.