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Christian group of people holding hands praying worship to believe and Bible on a wooden table for devotional or prayer meeting concept.
Christian group of people holding hands praying worship to believe and Bible on a wooden table for devotional or prayer meeting concept.
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Prayers have been solicited for the lawyers representing the churches in the case in which two gay Vincentian men are challenging the country’s “buggery” and “gross indecency” laws, which criminalise homosexuality. 

iWitness News was reliably informed that the request was made via WhatsApp this week by a person close to one of the lawyers in the case, which is currently being heard virtually before High Court judge, Justice Esco Henry.

In the WhatsApp message, which was sent to a pastor, the person said:

“I am asking for sincere, earnest prayer for … the … lawyers … as we fight to keep the homosexual agenda out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines…

“The trial started last week Thursday, and since then, the devil has been busy attacking each member of our team one by one: death in the immediate family, vehicle accident, and just yesterday, a major family crisis that I can’t even begin to give details about…

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“I am deliberately detailed in my appeal this morning because I can see clearly that the devil is very angry and targeting us. Please pray for us. I am soliciting your prayers.”

The message to the Christian cleric was further shared in a WhatsApp group, a member of which responded:

“I knew this was coming. Sad to say they might just get through because our leaders in the faith through the Covid-19 mandate have failed to support/protect many … who refused to take the jab. Even today where the judgement has ruled in our favour, they still refuse to come out boldly and rebuke those in authority. The Covid19 mandate revealed the true colours of many persons including leaders of the faith…”

On hearing of the prayer request, one of the other lawyers involved in the matters quipped to iWitness News, “Are they not requesting prayer for us too?”

In 2019, Vincentians Javin Johnson, then 22, and Sean Macleish, then 53, both of whom are living overseas, filed a legal challenge to SVG’s anti-buggery laws, saying the laws strip their dignity and autonomy.

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

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

Macleish, 53, who was resident in Chicago, Illinois, at the time, said he had failed in his public advocacy to the SVG’s prime minister for the removal of these laws so that he may return home with his partner.

SVG’s anti-buggery laws are leftovers from its colonial past. Similar challenges have been brought in other Commonwealth Caribbean countries and in each instance, the courts have ruled that the laws are unconstitutional.

The trial of the Vincentian case began on Thursday and since then, both MacLeish and Johnson have presented their case to the court.

On Thursday, the court heard the evidence of Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, who gave expert evidence on behalf of the claimants.

The court has also heard the evidence of Richard Browne, a retired assistant commissioner of police, and Cuthbert Knights, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment, who testified on behalf of the respondents.

Dr. Jose Davy will testify as an expert witness on behalf of the respondents.

The lawsuit is joined by two interested parties, namely a number of churches and a gay rights activist group, Vincy Chap.

In 2019, Mandella Peters, a lawyer for the churches in the matter, told a rally in Kingstown that the legal challenge to the buggery laws is a challenge against God.

“It’s a challenge against God himself because in the essence of this challenge, we are called upon to call a wrong right and to call what is wrong permissible and allowable in the guise of human rights,” Peters said.

British lawyers Joseph Middleton KC and Peter Laverack as well as Vincentians Jomo Thomas and Shirlan “Zita” Barnwell appear for the claimants.

The Solicitor General Karen Duncan and the Senior Crown Counsel Cerepha Harper-Joseph are representing the government in the matter.

The churches are also being represented by Vincentian attorneys Cheryl Bailey and Meisha Cruickshank while Christopher Hamel-Smith SC, of Trinidad, and Graham Bollers, of SVG, appear for Vincy Chap.

9 replies on “Prayer requested for churches’ lawyers as court hears challenge to SVG’s buggery law”

  1. Amaina Gibson says:

    This is against the word of God and St Vincent is an island under God. We must not have double standards.

  2. This is so weak, look at the amount of crime plaguing this country and the church is lobbying against peoples sexual preference. Why not lobby against the ridiculously low age of consent for boys and girls, why not petition to increase the minimum penalty for unlawful gun possession. Why not encourage your members and the public at large to report crimes witnessed or possess knowledge of. You guys are majoring in a minor right now. You can’t stop the rain from falling. Realign your agenda.

  3. So when babies young girls and women are being raped , abused and murder, I don’t hear any of you asked for prayer or reaching out to the church and take to the streets to end violence against women.. but soon as the word gay comes up the church must get involved . I am a proud lesbian and I don’t care how you look at me, because at the end of the day I will rather deal with gays, robbers and thieves before I deal with church flokes, they are some of the most wicket set of people on this earth and they are using the church to hide who they truly are,
    I didn’t hear you reach out too the church to asked for pray for the family of the child that was molested in a church where she was supposed to feel safe and by someone she looked up to and trust.

  4. Veral Blake says:

    Veral Blake. If God wanted a man for another man he would have made Steve instead of Eve. God’s order for human sexuality
    can never change even if sinful man may try to change it. God’s word will always stand. The grass withers, the flower fades but the Word of the Lord stands forever,

  5. Amen brother, He also magnify his word above all his name.

    That kind of lifestyle and any other sexual perversion does not worth going to hell for. He said it’s an abomination and that settles it. I need no other argument.

    Eternity is at hand please repent before it’s too late. Its appointed unto man once to die after that the judgment.
    All those perils you mention in our society I acknowledge but my counsel to you let’s not add sin to sin. It’s a dangerous thing to do in the sight of THE LIVING GOD.

  6. Regardless of anyone’s opinion the word of God has the final say and is the only authority on all of human life. So whether it is those who betrayed their trust, murder, rapers, steal etc. it’s sin, and according to Romans 6: 23 A
    “For the wages of sin is death.” Note it does not categorized, it does not specify which means that whatever constitute sin the payment is death[complete separation from God] “The soul that sin will die” is applicable across all lifestyle, persausion, ethnicity, social and economic background.

  7. Who created gays and lesbian’s? Isn’t it God? I thought I grew up hearing that God made made in his own image.why are so much high and mighty people in the church molesting young girls and even boys and still want to come preach about Gays? Can the clergy please address that.

  8. Take warning says:

    It will be such a very dangerous thing to fall into the Hands of a living God. Teach me O LORD to number my days so that I can apply my heart u to wisdom.

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