LGBT rights in Trinidad and Tobago
|LGBT rights in Trinidad and Tobago|
Trinidad and Tobago
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Illegal|
|25 years (Buggery),|
5 years (other sexual acts)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Trinidad and Tobago may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago. However homosexuals have not been actively targeted by the laws.
Laws against homosexuality
Sexual Offences Act
Trinidadian criminal code prohibits sex between two people of the same sex, as is the case in much of the English-speaking Caribbean.
(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonmentâ€” (a) if committed by an adult on a minor, for life; (b) if committed by an adult on another adult, for twenty-five years; (c) if committed by a minor, for five years. (2) In this section â€œbuggeryâ€ means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.
Section 16 relates to "serious indecency":
(1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonmentâ€” (a) if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age for ten years for a first offence and to imprisonment for fifteen years for a subsequent offence; (b) if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more for five years. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private betweenâ€” (a) a husband and his wife; or (b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to the commission of the act. (3) An act of â€œserious indecencyâ€ is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.
The government has not specifically targeted homosexuals under the "buggery" or serious indecency laws; however individuals have been charged and convicted of these offences when coupled with other serious crimes.
Under Article 8 (18/1) of the Immigration Act, homosexual men and women are not allowed to enter the country. However, this law is not known to have been enforced.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), entry into Trinidad and Tobago of the persons described in this subsection, other than citizens and, subject to section 7(2), residents, is prohibited, namely- ... (e) prostitutes, homosexuals or persons living on the earnings of prostitutes or homosexuals, or persons reasonably suspected as coming to Trinidad and Tobago for these or any other immoral purposes;
The law forbidding immigration is not known to have been enforced.
In 2007 a highly vocal campaign opposed Elton John's entry into the country. This was led by the local Anglican Church, in particular Archdeacon Philip Isaac. The Tobago House of Assembly rejected the call to bar Elton John from entry, and the concert went ahead as planned in May 2007.
Public attitudes toward LGBT people
Trinidad is considered a 'relatively safe' destination for gay travellers.
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