A British court ruling may change laws for LGBT+ people around the world

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03/13/2020

Years of legal battles around same-sex marriage in Bermuda will come to a head 5,548kms away in London on 7 and 8 December this year. And the result may help make same-sex marriage legal and strike down laws against gay sex in dozens of countries. Some of those countries, including Jamaica, are currently among the world’s most dangerous places to be LGBT+. At the moment, Jamaica still criminalizes homosexuality. The penalty is 10 years hard labor, although the country rarely enforces it. But by a quirk of colonial history, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London is the final court of appeal for Jamaica and multiple other nations. Moreover, campaigners are confident the strength of their legal argument for same-sex marriage will be hard for the Privy Council to resist. The impact of its ruling will vary from country to country. But even in places where it doesn’t have the final word, the Privy Council’s ruling will prove a huge legal barrier to governments still banning same-sex marriage.

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