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A lawyer representing the two gay men challenging the buggery and gross indecency laws in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has noted that the legislation also captures certain sex acts among consenting heterosexual adults.

“The law also captures, which a lot of people don’t know, section 148 is that you can go to jail for five years, if, in the privacy of your own home, you are found performing oral sex on your wife or your wife is found performing oral sex on you,” Jomo Thomas said on WE-FM on Friday.

“Because these laws are from an earlier time, a time when … that was perceived to be a horrible thing. We know that in 21st century St. Vincent that the performance of oral sex on consenting adults is celebrated almost,” Thomas further said.

 Section 148 of the Criminal Code says:

“Any person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person of the same sex, or procures or attempts to procure another person of the same sex to commit an act of gross indecency with him or her, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years.”

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Thomas’ comments about oral sex came as he was responding to a question regarding the fact that the two men who have launched the legal challenge do not live in SVG.

Sean MacLeish, one of the litigants, a 53-year-old Vincentian, lives in the United States. The other claimant, Javin Johnson, 22, had successfully claimed asylum in the United Kingdom, in 2017, on humanitarian grounds.

Thomas said that the two men are still Vincentian citizens, noting that one does not lose citizenship by leaving the country.

He said the background of the lawsuit is two-fold: both MacLeish and Johnson are Vincentians and either or both of them might want to come back to SVG.

In the case of Johnson, he gained humanitarian status in England because of his lifestyle and the resulting assault to his dignity and his freedom of expression in SVG. 

Jomo Thomas
Lawyer Jomo Thomas. (iWN photo)

“They thought it was a well-founded fear and he was given humanitarian status in England,” Thomas said.

In the case of MacLeish, he visits SVG “but he has difficulties expressing himself as a homosexual male, expressing the dignity of himself as a human being who happens to be a homosexual male.

“He does not have the freedom of expression that a heterosexual has and that’s the basis of the challenge.

“But beyond these men, even if they don’t come back, all of us in St. Vincent know that there are other homosexual males or lesbians, people who practice lesbian lifestyles, because the law captures that as well,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he does not agree with the view that repealing the laws will open the door to other things.

“I have never met a man that I was physically attracted to but if you meet a man that you are physically attracted to, in my humble submission, that is your business. That is not my business.

“If you decide not to have children, that is your business; that is not my business. If you decide that you are not having children but you want to adopt children and raise them in a healthy, loving atmosphere that is your business it is not mine,” Thomas said, speaking directly to the host of the show.

“So this notion that we are opening the door to other things and we want to do this to our children… that’s the emotive point.”

He said some persons have argued that the buggery and gross indecency laws are hardly enforced.

He, however, said that a judge ruling on an English case has held that very existence of the legislation continuously and directly affects a person’s private life.

“Either he respects the law and refrain from engaging, even in private with a consenting male partner in prohibited acts to which he is disposed by reasons of his homosexual tendencies or he commits an act thereby becoming liable to criminal prosecution,” Thomas said, quoting the judge.

“And that is the challenge we are seeing here.”

He said that in a case in Fiji, the court held that a person engaging in buggery in the privacy of his or her home with another consenting person is “akin to an unapprehended felon in the privacy of his own home”.

“So those are the kind of things courts have looked at as it relates to privacy, as it relates to the dignity of the human being and has ruled….

“The claimants are invoking the Constitution to deal with an alleged statutory violation. This is not a challenge to remove anything from the Constitution. So, some people are under the misapprehension that we want to change the Constitution…

“The claimants are not trying to change the Constitution. What the claimants are trying to do is …, based on their protected constitutional rights, [is to] have a particular statutory clause removed from the law books.”  

30 replies on “Oral sex illegal in SVG”

  1. Jomo??? Who taught you statutory interpretation???

    I just ran to my law books to verify section 148 and I’m dumbfounded as to how you deduced that much from the section.

    Talk about going out on an imaginary limb smh….

    Be more responsible in your interpretation because (some) people may still listen to you!!!!

      1. You are forgetting the Lesbian women who strap on great tree trunks and go at it for hours. Oral sex is their speciality also. I suppose that is ok as long as you can watch?

  2. Concerned citizen says:

    The headline is extremely worryin but who came blame the media houseswhen the law is misquoted and misspoken.

    From my reading of the article Mr Thomas is wrong wrong wrong as the section he relys on to support his claims clearly states ‘Any person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person of the same sex, or procures or attempts to procure another person of the same sex to commit an act of gross indecency..”

    How does this apply to the heterosexual community?

    Mr Thomas please be guided with the propaganda and hysteria that you are seeking to spread and create by your ill conceived statements

    1. Because he is referring to a case law where a heterosexual was charged with the said offense in the UK. Same law just a different section..we are still look to the UK for legal direction with regards to common law.

      1. The section in OUR law books speaks to SAME SEX. I know the case in the UK you are referring to but it could not be based on the equivalent (if one exists in that jurisdiction) of SVG’s section 148 of the Criminal Code. The crux of this section speaks to acts so defined as “gross indecency” with members of the SAME SEX.

        The title of the section itself is clear, as opposed to section 146 that includes “a person (man or woman) or animal.

        Jomo is dead wrong with his utterances. He needs to be more responsible. How can it be assumed from that section that spouses (legally recognized in SVG as a man and woman) will be guilty under this section?

  3. Jomo Thomas these sexual immoral act. Laws were all part of Jehovah God laws set my our forefathers and are not wrong we are a Christian nation island what you need to understand is why these homosexual act immoral sexual sins and oral sex were forbidden is because these sexual immoral act is part of the worship to Baal in the part of the religious ritual that came from SATAN Christian or the Christian body are not to take part in these they are not of Jehovah God but the devil SATAN. Mr which side you on and how there you fight against God laws .

  4. Noted below is the form of ungodly debauched family relationships that Lawyers JOMO Thomas and ‘Zita’ Barnwell would have us Vincentians participating in. This all in the silence of the equally ungodly ruling Stalinist ULP some of whose members pretend to be Christians.

    But it is a known fact that these Marxist, or so-called socialist and communist have no liking at all for Christianity, although they do pretend to be Christians at time, this they do when it proves to be advantageous for them so to do. Their hero Karl Marx is reputed to have said of Christianity, Religion is Opium of the people! Well here is what Lawyers JOMO Thomas and ‘Zita’ Barnwell intend for us!

    “Britain’s first gay fathers end their 32-year relationship after one falls ‘head over heels’ in love with his daughter’s boyfriend – who is half his age.

    Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, 50, is now living with the husband he is currently divorcing as well as their five children and his new boyfriend, 25-year-old Scott Hutchison. Mr Huchison, who has always been openly bisexual, has previously dated Mr Drewitt-Barlow’s 19-year-old daughter, Saffron.

    Saffron and Mr Drewitt-Barlow’s current husband, Tony, 55, have remarkably given their blessing to the lovebirds and seem happy with the new living arrangement”. What is good for the Brits is sure good for us to never mind God!

    Most certainly in Bolivia, for ousted socialist President Evo Morales, religion for him was indeed opiate of the masses, as all Bibles were removed from the Presidential palace.

    Thus it took Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Anez upon declaring herself interim President last week, to declare that “the Bible was now back” in the Palace, as she was pictured holding high a large Bible.

    What does the future holds for us and the Bible here in SVG under this ruling family, their ULP and Lawyers JOMO Thomas and ‘Zita’ Barnwell, if they are able to get their way to overturn the enacted laws of the country?

  5. Jomo cam I ask you am honest question? Have you ever had gay sex? You can be truthful for once. If you do I will applaud your honesty? It seems as though you have an interest in turning vincy into a gay state. That is a bullerman state. Please provide me with a response.

  6. one famous example is in 1993, when Famous Hells Kitchen Chef, Mr Gordon Ramsay was arrested and cautioned with Gross Indecency for performing Oral sex on his wife in a public bathroom…in the UK a caution can be given instead of a charge when an individual admits to the offence, and the offence is on their record. Knowledge is power.

    1. Vast comparison and IRRELEVANT!!!!!!!

      The section the husband was charged in the UK couldn’t be the equivalent section, as section 148 speaks to acts committed by same sex!

      Knowledge without relevant application is irrelevant NOT POWER!

    1. When you find it tell me too…

      Especially oral sex between a husband and a wife.

      I may be missing a few pages in the law books.

  7. Over the past years I have been living in my beautiful island of ours. I have heard and confirm true stories of a certain female lawyer who like to perform these very acts that jomo and his colleague is fighting for, he Jomo knows exactly who am speaking about, heard about the female principa alsol who was caught in the very act with the child’s mother, as we Say “knocking shallow plate” . It wouldn’t surprise me if the two lawyers are gay man and lesbian. You all need to read all yo Bible find out what God did to Sadam and Go…. for the same said thing, or let someone educate you all because it doesn’t seem like you all believe in God either. Shame on you Zita for a country girl who was raised from a humble family. Am sure you had choice of not epresenting these two fools!

  8. Guess a majjority these people protesting and marching would not live in places like the UK,USA or Canada because those countries are sinful and they have legalised buggering.The preachers who are marching should not want to have anything to do with the UK, the US and Canada right?.If for some reason they still maintain contact with the various churches in the US Canada or the UK it means they’re a bunch of hypocrites.

    1. Liston England says:

      Where would hypocrisy come in the picture? If you disagree with the preachers, then you shouldn’t go anywhere there is a church,right? If what you’re saying there make any sense skipper? Think before you talk fellow.

  9. Why is there no one in SVG that is not on the extreme sides of this issue? There is a minority that wants to promote gays kissing and petting all over the country and on the other side the vast majority want to burn gays at the stake.
    I do not think gays are gay by choice it is probably that they are somehow “wired differently”.I also think that pedophiles are “wired differently”, but gays do not really pose such a danger to society. Child molesters are a threat and have to be taken out of our society to protect our children.
    On the other hand in most places in the world societies do not “teach” thier children about sex until they reach thier mid-teens. We should not promote any type of sex onto our children at younger ages.
    I disagree with the Democrats in the USA, particularly Obama, that go about trying to encourage people to be gay but it is also shameful in backward countries to treat them as criminals and humiliate them with beatings and killing them in the streets. Those gays that we have had in the recent past in SVG that walk the streets of Kingstown openly propositioning men should have penalties under the law. The fact that they actually humiliate themselves in public is not enough. They seem to have an agenda and this court case may be it. Is it some sort of a trap?
    If we and all the other “backwards” developing countries do not take a balanced view and craft appropriate laws that insure certain inalienable rights for all people and at the same time protect our humanistic culture, we will have negative consequences imposed upon us by the World community (they have already stated this in the UN) and possibly be forced to instead adopt laws that are far worse than any laws that we craft not under duress of the World Community, and we will have our own arrogance and intolerance to blame.

    I hope we are not so arrogant and stupid as I fear.

    1. Liston England says:

      Duke: should we fear the un and other developing countries or fear God? Should we go to hell with them because they invite us to go, or make our own mind up? C’mon man.. Righteousness exalt a nation but sin is a reproach to any people my brother. Im out!

  10. Your hyperbole would not wash KALIK CRICK, however, God in his great wisdom has instituted Governments so that all would live in a thoroughly moral environment.

    Hence you KALIK CRICK are entirely entitled to do as are within the “Laws” and God has given his rule of law

    Therefore, it is up to the Government to be dutifully Godly for all our sake! Ungodly individuals and Governments will have to give account, believe it or not KALIK CRICK!

    If you and others wish to question God about his Moral Universe, please go right ahead, he is sure big enough to defend himself and does not need anyone to defend him or his morality.

  11. Many Vincentian men bugger their women, is that OK.

    You people who keep spouting Christianity should practice what you preach, murdering, raping, sex with animals, church leaders having sex with their flock, even with the children. Stealing, shop lifting, stealing farmers animals and produce, farting in church, chopping with cutlass, dirty phone calls, pornography. Its endless and you are all worried about what two people do in the privacy of their own home, if its wrong let God punish them.

  12. As noted before, it is a well-known fact that these Marxist like JOMO, “the PAPA”, other so-called socialist and avowed communist, all who have no liking whatsoever for Christianity or any religion for that fact, although they do pretend at times to be concerned for its values. They may even attend Church and regurgitate religious text. This they do when it proves to be most advantageous for them so to do.

    Religion as such conflicts with their core belief system. Take a recent statement by the Chinese Communist.

    “Wang Yang, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, recently instructed the country’s officials to interpret the ideologies of different religions in accordance with ‘the core values of Socialism’.”

    Therefore “China is set to censor all translated versions of classic religious books to make sure that their messages reflect the principles of Socialism. The new editions must not contain any content that go against the beliefs of the Communist Party, according to the country’s top officials on religious matters. Paragraphs deemed wrong by the censors will be amended or re-translated, the officials have said”. What are we to make of such?

    Hence, it is not at all surprising, to find JOMO taking up with glee cudgels, in order to do battle against our nation’s established moral values. God help us when such men get themselves entrenched like these Chinese Communist of today and like the Soviets before them.

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