York U to host LGBT Equality Litigation: A Caribbean Primer panel presentation


TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2013 – Same-gender intimacy is still criminalized today in 11 of the 12 Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean under laws introduced by British colonialism. On November 21, 2013, York University will host a panel of Caribbean leaders who are working to advance LGBT rights in the Caribbean.

The LGBT Equality Litigation in the Caribbean panellists will discuss the work and history of LGBT activism in Jamaica and Belize, as well as current litigation to advance LGBT rights with cases originating in Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Panellists include:

Maurice Tomlinson, speaking 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, speaking 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, speaking on the history of Jamaican LGBT activism from the 1970s 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.

Ulelli Verbeke, speaking on the recent court decision on the law against cross-dressing in Guyana and on Envisioning participatory video work with examples from Guyana. Ulelli is a member of Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Guyana, and the SASOD videographer with Envisioning.

Nancy Nicol, 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. Nicol is associate professor in visual arts at York University.

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; Osgoode Feminist Collective; Osgoode Black Law Students Association

What: LGBT Equality Litigation: A Caribbean Primer Panel presentation

Where: Room 1014, Osgoode Hall Law School (Ignat Kaneff Building), York University (#32 on map)

When: Thursday, Nov. 21, 12:30-2:30pm

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Media Contact: Robin Heron, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x22097/ rheron@yorku.ca