The claimants, Sean Macleish, left, and Javin Johbson.

Two gay men, on Friday, filed court proceedings to challenge St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ “buggery” and “gross indecency” laws, which criminalise homosexuality.  

Both men, who have been advised by Jeremy Johnson QC and Peter Laverack of 5 Essex Court, assert that these laws strip their dignity and autonomy. 

They have filed claims with Affidavits stating that they have been exiled from the Caribbean nation due to the severely draconian and damaging effects of these laws.

Javin Johnson, 22, successfully claimed asylum in the United Kingdom in 2017 having established that he could not live as a gay man in St. Vincent.  

Sean Macleish, 53, is a Vincentian resident in Chicago, Illinois, who has failed in his public advocacy to the Caribbean nation’s prime minister for the removal of these laws so that he may return home with his partner.

These challenges coincide with Prince William and his family holidaying in the country on the exclusive island of Mustique, whose website states “there are no rules on Mustique”. 

LGBT visitors, however, would be liable to arrest and imprisonment for up to 10 years if caught being intimate. 

Prince William stated this month that he would be “absolutely fine” if his own children were gay.

The two claimants are unknown to each other, having separately decided that now is the time for decriminalisation. They say that these laws violate multiple and overlapping rights in the Constitution, which are there to protect all Vincentians, no matter who they are or who they love.

These court challenges come in the wake of Jason Jones’ successful challenge to Trinidad and Tobago’s anti-gay laws, a week after a similar challenge was filed in Dominica, and with other challenges already afoot in Jamaica and Barbados.

Commonwealth Caribbean nations inherited these laws during British colonial rule. Now uniquely in the Americas, these nations continue to criminalise homosexuality, placing them in an ever-decreasing minority globally.

The challenges were filed by local lawyers, Zita Barnwell and Jomo Thomas, listing English barristers Jeremy Johnson QC and Peter Laverack of 5 Essex Court, London, as the intended trial advocates. 

5 Essex Court was instructed by a team at Hogan Lovells, which includes Charles Brasted, partner, Tom Smith, senior associate, and Iris Karaman, trainee solicitor.

The two challenges are expected to be heard together in the High Court in Kingstown.

The British Privy Council may have ultimate say on these colonial-era laws, as St. Vincent and the Grenadines still sends its appeals to the old imperial court in London.

41 replies on “Gay men file legal challenge to SVG’s homosexuality laws”

  1. Holy Ghost, Spirit-filled Churches, Prayer Warriors, Intercessors Visionaries if ever we need to pray is #NOW.
    Let’s turn up the #Heat.

    God is not a man to lie or the Son of man to Repent. Or else HE needs to apologize to the nation of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Read the Bible- Romans, and Leviticus.
    #Just saying
    HOLD ME RIGHT JESUS, OH LORD, HOLD ME RIGHT HAND!!!! FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!!

    1. Rawlston Pompey says:

      WEARING DIFFERENT HAT – SUPREMACY OF GOD – ABOMINATION

      No political leader dare to put anything that would ‘…outrage the public and nation’s conscience’ to the people.

      However, there are some attorneys and some Judicial officers who may seek to prostitute their positions.

      A few that often seem starved of scruples were often seen as willing to ‘…seize opportunities to undertake certain assignments’ or in ‘…making some equally outrageous decisions’ to gain national, regional and international attention.

      Though he might argue that he is ‘…wearing a different hat,’ or functioning in a different capacity, it might still be seen as passing strange that a ‘…lawmaker and honorable House Speaker Jomo Thomas’ has agreed to be so engaged.

      There may be no worry over ‘…Anti-womanism’ (men without sexual feelings for woman) and ‘…Anti-manisn’ (women without sexual feelings for men.’

      Among the ‘…Founding Constitutional Principle,’ is one where the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines ‘…Believe in the Supremacy of God’ [CO: 1979: Principle A].

      The Constitution would have to be amended to allow for ‘…atheism.’ In a Referendum to amend the Constitution, it would be defeated.

      Such ‘Principle’ is consistent with an overwhelming religious belief that ‘…If a man lie with a man as he would with a woman, they commit an abomination, and shall be put to death’ [Leviticus 20: 13].

      Those engaged ‘…sexually or legally’ could all suffer the same fate.

      1. Christeen Francis says:

        You all need to get of st Vincent with that bull shit god made adam & eve not adam &Steve vincentian must stand up for god god will stand up for you

  2. When considering what are called the human rights that these individuals are there asking our court system to grant them, we ourselves for our part, need to consider what kind of behaviour, that we as a society, would find truly acceptable to us and the proposition of a creator God himself, and in so doing, also consider “The Eternal Decrees of God”. Here in a lecture given in London by one Dr Lloyd Jones, a former Physician to the young Queen Elizabeth, head of the commonwealth Dr Lloyd Jones puts before us this;

    https://www.mljtrust.org/sermons-online/great-biblical-doctrines/the-eternal-decrees-of-god/

    In today’s post Christian world, the western nations, including the UK itself, have taken a path that they had once trod and to some here in SVG, that destructive path appears to be most enlightened and surely most admirable indeed. However, to others here and elsewhere such a path is not only against the very nature of men but is argued to be against the very given laws of God.
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1&version=NKJV

    We read in our Bible that all men knows instinctively what is right and what is wrong, thus their ungodly behaviour are the results of God himself having given men over to do as they so please. Therefore, God in this sense, it is said to permit what he thus disapproves of, to the consequence of he/she, the doer’s own ends. We read in Romans chapter.1 V 26-27.

    “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due”. And;

    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God”.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10: The Original Greek
    https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/1Corinthians6TranslationsCompared.pdf

    Having these things in mind, one may well ask, what kind of people indeed are we to be?

    1. FRANKLY, James H., you have be somewhat confused. Its like the atheism that I felt I had more recently gleaned from C. Ben-David – – – only to be apparently contradicted some time later on.
      I guess I need to read a bit more carefully these days.
      Tell me Bro. James H., are you related to my sometime Alter-ego, Peter Binose ?
      I am certain ALL these salient matters or issues will be fully cleared up, SOON.
      i, personally, have been reverting back to SVG Kaiso bard, PRINCE ISCHAL’s Bernard Glasgow composition:
      ” DEM CAN’T STOP STOP . . . PROPHECIES FROM FULFILLING,
      “NO, DEM CAN’T STOP . . . BABYLON’s KINGDOM FROM FALLING . . .”

  3. they are gay people who have rights same as regular couple would.workbin a fair constitution for the gay be safe and able to not have to relocate.

  4. Buggery laws were enacted to safeguard the morality and civility in society; and this challenge by these individuals are meant to justify their lewdness. What one does in private is not a right but a preference.

  5. I think I know now why the NDP may naver win an election. I had my suspicious that a lot of the female members in the party had that agenda.thats why I back down many times from putting up a fight.lots of people young and old why are you not helping.and l will tell dem these same thing.now they see for demself.and remember when one of the female call for a conversation on gay how it hurt me.l am not going get into this private matter between two man or two women.but the Constitution should not gave permission.beacuse GOD should be the head of our constitution.and the law should be more advanced in its act to protect people from any form of abuse.GOD knows it hurt my heart to see my party lawyer is apart of this type of history in the making because they are going to win if it goes to the prive but this country will pay a very high price for everyone that encourage DEMONS

    1. Amen to that. There is no fear of God any longer in SVG and elsewhere whose government continues to accept and bring into constitution what the Biblical principles warn against.

      I said again, God is not mocked, retribution is coming.
      MARANATHA PEOPLE.
      IF GOD DOESN’T DESTROY THESE DEVIOUS ACTS HE WILL HAVE TO REPENT TO THE NATION OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH.
      HE KEEPS HIS WORDS.
      REPENT ALL NATIONS WHO ACCEPT THIS ABOMINABLE BEHAVIOR.

  6. McLeish I will leave Holland and come to St Vincent and buss you arse if u come down here with you gay thing.

  7. And this is why we should have gotten away from this nonsense of having the queen of England as our head of state. If the head is sick then the whole body is sick.

  8. Karima paris says:

    Why tamper with our laws when you are already using your freedom to have sex the wrong way? Our laws are not preventing you from doing that. You want to tamper with our laws because you want to force us to accept your abomination, but no way, we will not accept and we will not keep silent on this issue.

  9. Philemon Ash says:

    Not every nation must compromise and give in to this claim that everywhere should be free for gays. It must be proclaimed that while gays are fighting for rights and liberty to indulge themselves in what they find to be or should be “acceptable,” others have rights too. Christians have a right to speak out against what we find to be “wrong” and immoral. There is abosolutely nothing wrong if one or more nation decides on not having an open door for gays.

  10. Picture this. Four children growing up in the
    Same environment
    Child 1 is five years and thief like puss. People
    Say he needs to change
    Child 2 is five years and violent. People say he
    Needs to change.
    Child 3 is five years and lies for everything.
    People say he needs to change.
    Child 4 is five years and HE likes women
    clothes, makeup and playing with dolls.
    People say leave him he born so. Let him be
    What he wants to be. My point is no one is born
    This way and as a society we need to say wrong
    Is wrong and right is right. Stop forcing your
    Nasty agenda on my country.

  11. Edge Samuel says:

    We talk about Christianity and being civilized and still deny gays their rights; it is about time to change the Constitution

  12. Colin in Quebec says:

    Y’all make me laugh (and cry as well)! Many of the Vincy men who claim to be Christians have no qualms about hitting their women. Pathetic self-righteous men!

  13. Another solution and the best I have seen thus far is what Putin did in Russia. Russia has the largest percentage of the population of Christians of any country on Earth. Putin made it illegal to PROMOTE homosexuality, but did not make the act illegal, as we did in Saint Vincent. I assume that means people cannot go out in public and tell everyone how great it is to be homosexual, as Obama did. In so doing Obama and very many authorities encourage this behavior. I would say let people do as they consensually agree in private, everyone will be happy. At present our laws are stupid, as are the laws in the USA and many other places. The institution of Gay Marriage is another matter.
    We can also look at Israel. The Jews discourage this behavior in Judaism but heavily promote it for Christians and non-Jews. As you may know, Jews think of non-jews as non-human, and they have said that a fingernail of a Jew is worth far more than the lives of 10 Christians, they therefore will assist in doing what they can to do what they see as destroying society of those in other religions.
    Russia seems to have found the best solution. I have rarely heard of any problems in this reguard from Russia since they passed thier law that makes it illegal to promote homosexuality.

  14. It’s seems as though Vincentians are united with respect to what they want for their country. They want the country to be governed by Christian principles, they want less crimes, they want a democratic and a prosperous country among other things. Gay rights activist is being funded by the outside. They have access to a lot of money.

  15. David Wilson says:

    Frist God is love and he love all of his children and is not wishing for any soul to be lost your eternal soul is worth dying for Jehovah God will not force himself and his will on us we were all born with free will to choose and to make our own choices Jehovah God has given us the word the Bible it is our instructional guide to teach and lead us to tell what is Holy and unholy good from bad right from wrong the laws and the constitution of st Vincent and the grenadine are base on the Bible. God laws now to fight against these moral laws for what is right good and decent for a people a society is to contend or fight with God himself you just cannot win ! The word of God can change anyone life and put you back on the right path if it is follow any father will want what is right and good for his children their families community what good can come out of this how will a nation or a people benefit from this immorality this evil Satanic and godless for your own lust and desire you rather take a whole nation or island down in degradation you tell me where will it stop. it is by your and our own action , deeds and words Jehovah God word is fulfilled in the end you make your bed your free choice you sleep in it !! Man.

  16. What we have throughout the world today, is the rise of atheism in all of its sad forms and here in SVG, the Churches we have here, have not been at all helpful one bit, in turning the tide for us from such harmful atheism, for their Ministers are thoroughly unsound and lacks understanding in even the most basic of Biblical doctrines. We are a Society Steep in Judgement!
    https://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/Sermons-on-Romans/Society-s-Steps-to-Judgement

    Yet we in SVG are not at all unusual in our behaviour, for such is the very state of the world today, and nor is such ungodly behaviour novel to modern SVG, for ancient Rome and ancient Greece excelled in such ungodliness and is easily recognisable in their dramatic works.

    Homosexually is but one of the visible signs of the moral decomposition and rot in the moral fabric of our whole society here in SVG just as it was in ancient Rome and ancient Greece.

    If one was to look about SVG for leadership today, one will indeed be most hard pressed to find moral guidance in our institutions. From top to bottom here there are nothing but debased minds before us. Shameful behaviours on the part of our politicians is readily seen and Churches abound here, but however, all lacking in godliness.

    THIS UNBELIEVING, UNGODLY SOCIETY OF OURS HERE IN SVG, HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY GIVENOVER BY GOD to do whatever pleases us best! https://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/Sermons-Online/Scripture/New-Testament/Sermons-on-Romans

  17. Ricardo Francis says:

    Jomo Thomas, you should resign immediately as Speaker of the House (SOH) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    How can you be the SOH and challenge the constitution of our country and our values?

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  18. Best you all stay where you all living now you hear me because in ST Vincent they have a tendency to Stone buller man .from since I small growing up buller man not allow in we community , this should paint the picture plain so ah yo can see . God hate it and so we Vincentians hate it more. Batty man ah yo nah get no Rights here try Barbados .

  19. Lorna David says:

    God made Adam and give him Eve he didn’t give him Steve. The bible is the guide to the world. why Vincentians now want to legalize homosexuality.

  20. Agustus Carr says:

    The idea of having a more tolerable law towards homosexuality is not to accept homosexuality but to allow citizens the freedoms accorded to them under our constitution. Our Constitution set out a set of inalienable rights and freedoms such as the right to choose, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience etc. This is not about accepting the act of homosexuality but instead to allow persons to make their own choices.

    I will not accept homosexuality but I respect every citizen right to choose. If many of us who purport to be Christians do not wish to allow homosexuals to live freely we should not accept adultery nor furnication. All are abominable sins. How many people in high places covet their neighbors wives and have sex outside of marriage? Sin is sin. None is greater than the other.

    Many of us live a life of lies and deceit. We do things in our private lives that are abominable but yet we profess in the public phere as good and God fearing people. We oppress and condemn people whose choices and views are different than ours. How could this be? It is called hypocrisy.

    If you choose to be a homosexual it’s your choice. You have to give account to God but remember all choices have consequences. Give the people right to live freely. We must however, always maintain that marriage remains a union between a man and a woman.

    All buggery related laws should be repealed.

  21. unfortunately they successfully challenged this in Trinidad and won , so now they want to do the same in our blessed SVG.
    Signs of the times …spiritual warfare as the bible say

  22. Valerie horne says:

    I am still confused as to who Jomo Thomas Really is. What is his motive in all this? He sure seems not to have pure motives in all this.

  23. Mag Williams says:

    If any man can tell me the scripture(s) in the Bible that says homosexuality is good, I will support it. Until then I will not accept this kind of nasty, batty man shame that they want this blessed country to legalize. Why don’t you legalize marijuana? Come on Vincentians let’s not support this, stand up and fight for our blessed country. God Bless!

  24. Oh my goodness are people insane, I marvel at how people try to change things that they have already been doing with no problem but suddenly want others to be part of their nonsense and accept what they have the preference to do. If you choose that life its your business not no one else. Stop trying to change laws just that has been in ling existence. Lord have his mercy on the human race.

  25. What we have throughout the world today, is the rise of atheism in all of its sad forms and here in SVG, the Churches we have here, have not been at all helpful one bit, in turning the tide for us from such harmful atheism, for their Ministers are thoroughly unsound and lacks understanding in even the most basic of Biblical doctrines. We are a Society Steep in Judgement!
    https://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/Sermons-on-Romans/Society-s-Steps-to-Judgement

    Yet we in SVG are not at all unusual in our behaviour, for such is the very state of the world today, and nor is such ungodly behaviour novel to modern SVG, for ancient Rome and ancient Greece excelled in such ungodliness and is easily recognisable in their dramatic works.

    Homosexually is but one of the visible signs of the moral decomposition and rot in the moral fabric of our whole society here in SVG just as it was in ancient Rome and ancient Greece.

    If one was to look about SVG for leadership today, one will indeed be most hard pressed to find moral guidance in its institutions. From top to bottom here there are nothing but debased minds before us. Shameful behaviours on the part of our politicians is readily seen and Churches abound here, but however, all lacking in godliness.

    THIS UNBELIEVING, UNGODLY SOCIETY OF OURS HERE IN SVG, HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY GIVENOVER BY GOD to do whatever pleases us best! https://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/Sermons-Online/Scripture/New-Testament/Sermons-on-Romans

  26. Jomo is a confused agent who often finds himself in a political rock and a hard place. It’s amazing that he is paid by the government of this country , however, he carries out his legal profession on a full time basis .The government should pass a law to disallow this kind of double dipping.

  27. May the God of Heaven & Earth have Mercy on us, Just as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be just before God returns to judge the earth. May He find us righteous, Let’s pray that more will come to know the Love of God rather than the wrath of God. He is still saying to us Who so ever will may come and receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ Hos son. Amen

  28. Alfonso Lyttle says:

    Dignity and autonomy these two infidels don’t even know what they are speaking of, mixing and muddling their words in their ignorance. These reprobates, abominable creatures in the sight of Almighty God. We here in this Blessed Island of St.Vincent and the Grenadines detest this nasty act of homosexuality it is a SIN of the highest degree.

  29. Cameron Browne says:

    It’s absolutely hilarious how everyone is suddenly a “Christian” when it comes to this issue. Even more funny that the descendants of those forcefully converted to this religion at gunpoint are now the ones doing the most to uphold it.

  30. You Cameron Browne, like so many individuals, makes the very common mistake of assuming that Christianity is a Religion like the other religions of the world that are man-made. For your information dear fellow, it is not!

    Christianity is, as declared by God, the only “God given” Religion, and no one can be forcibly converted to it. And for your information Cameron, the scriptures declares it so for itself at:
    2 Timothy 2:22-26 New King James Version (NKJV). Thus the preachers are to:-

    “22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

    24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will”.

    You see Cameron dear, it is God himself who creates the Christian, if it so pleases him to “perhaps will grant them repentance” for it is in the repentance to faith that Christians are created!

    Therefore it is in your ignorance, that you Cameron supposedly assume, that people could at gunpoint be forcefully converted to Christianity. Not so, not so at all! The Christian Scriptures speaks for themselves! And as to the faith, it is indeed God given! As we read too here at;-

    Ephesians 2:8-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
    “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast”. To which those of us who are Christians are reminded at Jude 3-7 New King James Version (NKJV) to Contend for the Faith!

    “3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire”.

    Yes Cameron Browne, sexual immorality as is reminded here by ALFONSO LYTTLE is truly abominable and grossly repugnant!

  31. Why don’t you ask Jomo himself Palmer. Whether he is fat or not is none of your concerns. Do you have a proposal for him?

  32. Thousands have flocked to Brighton, England, UK to celebrate the seaside resort’s annual Pride parade. Loud and proud! Tens of thousands turn Brighton seafront into dazzling display of rainbow colours for its annual “Pride parade” through city.

    Want to know where we in SVG are heading in our ungodly moral decline then take a look at those who are dragging us down with them.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7317503/LGBT-crowds-turn-Brighton-seafront-dazzling-display-rainbow-colours.html

    What is to become of us? With no ability to resist the onslaught that is to come or the will to defend the moral laws that we once espoused, what indeed is to become of us? We thank God that he knows who are his, for the days of Sodom and Gomorrah is once again upon us. So as the baton passes from one generation to the next John’s Witness remains true!

    John’s Witness: The True Light; John 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

    “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

    He (God) was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”.
    https://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/Gospel-of-John/The-Light-of-Christ

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