Trinidad and Tobago changed anti-gay laws but did not repeal them

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The High Court in Trinidad and Tobago has issued a final ruling on the country’s Sexual Offences Act, which stated that homosexuality was illegal. High Court judge Devindra Rampersad first ruled in April that the law was unconstitutional, and expressed intent to strike down Section 13, which punished “sexual intercourse per anum”—also referred to as “buggery”—between men or a heterosexual couple with long-term imprisonment. Rampersad also wanted to eliminate the Section 16 law, which banned “acts of serious indecency,” effectively criminalizing any kind of homosexual intercourse punishing it up to 5 years behind bars. The court’s final decision eventually set on amending the law with the effect of decriminalizing consensual sex between adults, regardless of their gender, if they are 16 and older. Section 13 will now read: “‘Buggery’ means sexual intercourse without consent per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.” Section 16, which effectively banned all same-sex sexual relations, has now been amended to only ban “acts of serious indecency” between people younger than 16.

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