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

The next hearing in the legal challenges to the buggery laws in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is slated for Nov. 13 as the parties continue to wade through pre-trial issues.

On that date, the court is slated to decide how many days should be set aside for the trial.

On Wednesday, when the matter had its first hearing, the parties agreed that the two cases, brought by two gay men, should be consolidated and heard together.

High Court judge Justice Esco Henry suggested three days be set aside for the hearing, but counsel Shirlan “Zita” Barnwell, who appeared on behalf of the claimants, suggested that four days to a week be set aside.

Justice Henry ordered that disclosure and the filing of documents be completed by Oct. 4.

The claimants are expected to call six witnesses each, while the state is expected to call 10.

Karen Duncan-Gonsalves and Kesron Walters appeared on behalf of the attorney general, who was out of state on official business.

Gay Vincentians Sean Macleish, 53, who is based in the United States, and Javin Johnson, 22, who successfully claimed asylum in the United Kingdom in 2017 have brought the legal challenges against SVG’s buggery laws.

The men are arguing that the laws, leftovers from British colonial rule, are discriminatory, inhumane and against the basic tenets of the Vincentian Constitution that protect the rights and freedoms of every citizen, and that they were removed from the UK some time ago.

In a statement on Thursday, Macleish and Johnson say they struggle with discrimination and abuse based on their sexual orientation and enforced by the archaic law and took matters into their own hands identifying this as the first step for equality for all citizens regardless of sexual preference.

Macleish said the case “is very important, not just for LGBTQ+ Vincentians like me, but monumental for access to social inclusion and equality for all marginalized groups”.

He said that growing up and living in St. Vincent as a gay man, he was made to feel insignificant and less than because of his sexual orientation.

“With so much progress in the world towards equality, very little has changed here, and I still see LGBTQ Vincentians being victimized and harassed because of whom we love.

“We just want to live our lives free of these discriminatory obstacles that the criminalization of homosexuality fuels. I place my confidence and hope in the judiciary to correct this inhumane injustice because justice is a remedy for pain and a step towards healing and freedom,” Macleish said.

Meanwhile Johnson expressed elation at the commencement of the legal proceedings.

“I am very happy that this legal challenge has begun! I am committed to making sure that what happened to me in St. Vincent, doesn’t ever happen again to future generations of gay people. Thanks to all our legal team who are working so hard for our human rights,” he said.

The men’s legal team is led by Jeremy Johnson QC and supported by Peter Laverack of 5 Essex Court Chambers London.

In St. Vincent, lawyers Zita Barnwell and Jomo Thomas of Jomo Thomas Chambers are instructed and Hogan Lovells International LLP are the solicitors.

The press statement said that, of special note, is the inclusion of barrister Peter Laverack on the legal team.

Laverack has been centrally involved with both the landmark victory for LGBTQ+ equality in Trinidad and Tobago in 2018, and the victory for marriage equality in Cayman Islands this year.

“As with the victory in Belize, then Trinidad and Tobago, then India, Angola and Botswana, we fully expect justice to be served in the continuing fight around the World for Equality and Justice for LGBTQ+ people,” the statement said.

28 replies on “Parties wade through pre-trial issues in buggery law case”

  1. Like ppl don’t remember the earth quake that shack up South after they pass that gay legislation. Jah been vex and he just going to get more upset with the way things are going . The gays have to remember they can’t make children so the means you have to be a straight person to have kids so they’re trying to impact the population with their immoral life style.

  2. There is no victory for marriage equality case in Cayman Island. The ruling was appealed by the government and is before the court of Appeal.

  3. The government position should be that we live in a democracy and it is the will of the vast population of VincentIan that our religious beliefs is sacrosanct. To change the constitution put it to a referendum and let the people decide. Interest groups such as Mc Keisha and the Johns and the Nigels should never have the ability to turn st Vincent into a gay state.

  4. Drusilla Bascom says:

    You gayfolks don’t need to carry on with that lifestyle in a small island like St. Vincent. Stop contaminating the place, and save our young boys and girls!

  5. Tge law is from the bible have you read it ? to change God laws is to fight against him i hope all involve in this come to their senses. and not because other countries give up their right to what is sexually accepted. and what is morally right and decent and good for a nation or country and society.that st Vincent and the grenadine have to follow that evil and wicked way also Christian please stand up against this or we will soon become a land where every foul and devil $pirit call there home loosing God Jehovah protection around this island home of the blessed.

  6. We. The people have the right to décide what is acceptable. this change in the law is not acceptable are you out of your mind xwhat is right is right and wrong is wrong accordi3 to Gid Jehovah word no one or the evil behind this should change thiswake up please.

  7. Yall stay way u can be gay in peace and leave us here. Dont come here with ur shit and we have our sons here to think of!!! It is not right and must not be condole. Let our boys know that the only way for the world to go on 2marrow is with a man and a woman not 2 men !!!

  8. All sexual immorality is a sin and abomination against the will of God, but Homosexuual serve a greater and severe judgment for it is mankind fighting and opposing against God order of right moral Living. Remember Sodom And Gomerraeh was completely destroyed for Homosexuual lifestyle. No Homosexuaul, Lawyer or General, From any part of the World cannot fight God and win. Not even the devil who raise them up from hell.

  9. Nigel let me see how much guts you have, leave Canada and walk down backstreet with your man. You will run a the way back to Georgetown.

  10. Court or no court St Vincent will not be a hay state. We don’t care what the courts says.We the people are guardian of the state. It matters not what the court says. The Nigels, Johnson, and Mc Leish were judge by Sodom and gomorroh. How can a man me up in the small of another man? It was meant to be a shit h…..

  11. Yes i do know the meaning Satanic
    God Jehovah is our and your Creator we he did not make or Create. Us to be Homosexual. That is the devil , SATAN way by your own free choice. you choose that Homosexual life don’t try to bring it on a whole country
    We you did. Not Create ourselves. it clear you do not love God or his way .but he still loves you.

  12. it have everything to do with Christianity the last time i check Jehovah God was and this is the God of this island. The. Nations is known by the God. They serve. and worship we are proud to be his Home of the blessed .

  13. Jesus teaches us that loving each other is far more important than strictly following Jewish laws. He said that the first commandment is to love God and the second commandment is to love others as you love yourself.

  14. What an issue!
    It looks like no matter what happens there are going to be angry people. I still think that Russia has the best solution when they made “promotion” of homosexuality illegal. I believe that means NO Gay Marriage or teaching in schools that it is “cool” to be gay like Obama advocated. No pubs openly advertising they are “gay”; However, those caught being gay or living together should suffer no punishment; no job-loss or other discrimination. That could be seen as anti-Christian and anti-human holier-than-thou arrogance. If we keep the present laws as I believe they are written, we could suffer a terrible backlash from other countries. As we see the USA may soon become extremely radical with all the crazy stuff going on there. They may soon even say it is “cool” to have sex orgies with goats and horses. I think the Prime Minister has an acceptable attitude in this reguard and I believe SVG will craft good legislation when the time comes although most people on both sides of the issue will be unhappy, the law will at least be appropriate for now and the near future.

  15. I hope I did not offend those in the “Sex with Farm Animals Religion”. I believe there is still a separation of church and state in SVG, unlike many Muslim countries. It should stay that way although we can promote a society with Christian Values they should not be authoritatively imposed on anyone, lest we will create our own Shariah laws.

  16. I could see Kingstown full with pebbles to stone them, the Bible already judge them, there is no need for a retrial. Sentence was passed long time ago, it’s God laws. Vincentians calling on God to rule directly. God loves the sinner like Nigel but he hate the sin. Nigel find God and repent of your sin. I am appealing to you Nigel, your mother I know her very well. You let her down, I had a conversation with her and she expressed b that to me. As she said she cannot disown you as a son. Even Eustace , God bless his soul was a man of Godly standing. Your God friend Alphie must be bawling in his grave to know you want to turn St Vincent into a game state.

  17. If y’all want to bull go where it’s accepted and stop with the nonsense for the Country to change for you it’s like going into an electrical store asking for food it’s just not offered so go where it is you already have the privilege of not being killed in Svg for being gay… go protest for that shit in Jamaica…. see what happens to you with y’all batty boy ways get TF out of here you’re already in a Country where your sexuality is accepted so stay there and get married or what the hell you want to do and stop harassing the laws of SVG

  18. No matter how conscientious these two lawyers, Zita Barnwell and Jomo Thomas are for their occupation, the wholesale attack on what we would consider as the Christian values of our Vincentian society, societal values that they both claim to be working to promote and preserve, is here demonstrated to be nothing but a shallow sham on their part.

    Both these two Lawyers knows full well how deeply felt the sentiments against such homosexual behaviour are in the nation. Yet they for the sake of a few more dollars, are seeking to foist upon our little nation what the majority of us would considers to be grossly immoral behaviour. They by their actions are seeking the overturning of our longstanding statute law, which however, happens to be also the published Law of God.

    Both of these two Lawyers one presume, are not at all practising Christians, for no Christian could be as so scandalous so as to defend homosexuality on the basis of “freedom of behaviour,” since such behaviour on the part of participants, has a shockingly reprehensible effect on societies, leading eventually to their eventual collapse.

    Indeed many would argue that such was the case in the Greco-Roman societies of the past, and even in the old “Southern Indian empires”. Ungodliness they argue, have a way of showing itself in many ways, according to the Bible at Romans 1:1-32 New King James Version (NKJV). Homosexuality being an express example.

    For sure at Romans 1: 18-32 it is said that “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness”
    https://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/Sermons-on-1-John/From-Blasphemy-to-Faith

    With feelings running so high in this country of ours against homosexuality, are not the lives of these two individuals who now lives abroad at risk, were they ever to return here as residents? To what end are these Lawyers in seeking in the overturning the express ban against homosexuality?

  19. Robertson S. Henry says:

    Can the lawyers tell the people beyond a shadow of a doubt that two men and or two women can successfully come together in a sexual union and one of them can have children from that union? Can the lawyers tell us if two male animals or two female animals can reproduce? The Almighty according to the Bible create man and woman and named them Adam and Eve …. not Adam and Steve nor Eve and Evette.

  20. Ricardo Francis says:

    St, Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) shall have a referendum on my watch.

    This issue shall and must be put to a referendum.

    I know the great and good people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines shall vote NO for, and against this, UNGODLY lifestyle. This is a minority imposing their will on the majority. This is unacceptable.They want to turn the world into Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Competing ideologies have winners and losers, but the public interest shall be first and foremost of any individual and or minority, and special interest groups, in the determination of an issue, especially this issue, which can alter our whole landscape as a nation.

    Who is funding these groups to assault the laws of christian nations?

    There are over 195 countries in the world, depending on the definition of a state, and whether they are recognized by the USA and or the United Nations, and only 28 have given rights to this special interest and minority group. In my view, there are only about lesser than 1% of Vincentians who agree with this lifestyle and the other 99% disagree with it. The majority shall have their way.

    I am of the view, that they sit around the boardroom table and decide which country ls next on their HIT list. They are strategically assaulting the laws of christian nations and keeping a list of those who oppose this lifestyle. They want this lifestyle to be normal. This is an abnormal lifestyle.

    The NDP and the ULP playing politics, with the wishes of the majority of the people.

    Jomo Thomas should and must resign as Speaker of the House of Assembly in SVG for his representation of this case since it constitutes a conflict of interest and puts the administration of justice in SVG in disrepute.

    I am very fearless and courageous.

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

  21. Ricardo Francis says:

    I take not that you have failed and or refused to publish my comment.

    There is a tendency to manufacture and fabricate information about those who are independent in their thinking. There are very few people who know anything about me, except what is fabricated to satisfy a political agenda.

    I am very fearless and courage.

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

    1. If there are very few that know anything about you, how do you intend on becoming Prime Minister in SVG? You have been saying that you are going to be the next Prime Minister but you never file to run for that office. Your comments on this site are no better than the comments of anyone else. Unless you find a way to prove yourself we are all forced to think of you as…
      “A legend in your own mind!”
      Most people have little respect for someone who is all talk and no action.

  22. Stop use the word gay , Buller is the real lexicon. Every one understanda what it meant to be a Buller man just like a comess man. Buller Nigel wants to turn Vince into a Buller man state.

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