first_imgAs the days draw closer to its appeal date, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) has noted that it was confident of a successful hearing.Owing to a recent ruling in favour of the LGBT community in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago, the organisation has noticed and welcomed a changing tide in the Caribbean Region.Although it is the aim of the organisation to have a similar ruling in Guyana, Managing Director Joel Simpson has disclosed that it was focusing on the cross-dressing appeal case that it currently had before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the highest appeal court in the Region.“We are focused on our appeal before the CCJ, and we don’t want to have more than one major constitution [al] suits in court,” he said.If the CCJ rules in SASOD’s favour, the cross-dressing appeal case will allow for persons in the LGBT community to freely cross dress without fear of breaking the law. The case was initially brought to the local Appeal Court, however, the case was dismissed in February of 2017. This dismissal is what led to the CCJ appeal.“We just got a tentative date for the hearing, that is June 28,” Simpson disclosed.When questioned about any intention to follow in Trinidad’s footsteps, Simpson stated, “We think that given the court decision the Attorney General should move to wipe these laws off the books on the basis that similar jurisdictions – other Commonwealth countries – have declared then unconstitutional.”Throughout its CCJ hearing, SASOD will be assisted by the University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP), who provides the organisation with pro bono services.The cross-dressing case was initially filed in February 2010, owing to highly publicised arrests and convictions of seven persons for the summary offence of “being a man and wearing female attire in a public way or public place, for an improper purpose” (1893 Act). Of the original seven, four of those persons collaborated with SASOD to file the action. SASOD then approached the U-RAP for legal assistance. The combined efforts of U-Rap and local counsel have brought the case to the level that it is currently at.last_img

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