March 1, 2017

When Will Death Threats Stop Against Gays in Trinidad?



Jason jones, LGBT Activist



Trinidad-born, UK based gay rights advocate Jason Jones says he is now staying at a “safe-house” after receiving dozens of death threats online.
Jones last week filed a legal challenge against the government of Trinidad and Tobago, seeking to have laws criminalising homosexuality declared null and void.
Jones is challenging Section 13 of the Sexual Offences Act which identifies buggery as a criminal offence.
He is also challenging the Immigration Act of Trinidad and Tobago which identifies homosexuals as a prohibited class of persons, to be denied entry into T&T.
These laws are rarely enforced, but Jones has said that their mere existence contributes to a culture of homophobia.
 Jones said there has been a substantial negative response to his challenge, and people have been sending threats to him via Facebook.
Jones filed a police report but said the threats are being viewed as idle, and not legitimate.
However, he said he is in fear for his life and that all threats must be treated as serious.
“These are boldfaced death threats,” Jones told the Express. “People are not allowed to say this stuff. They are saying I deserve a bullet through my head, and I cannot do anything about it.”
Jones said he was forced to move out from where he was staying with a friend and he has also hired a security firm.
“I had to move out of my friend's house, because I didn't want to put him at risk,” he said.
However, he said the threats have not broken his resolve to pursue his legal claim and represent members of the Lebian/Gay/Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
“My resolve is even stronger now so let them come,” he said. “I am ready for them.”
Despite the threats and negative responses, Jones said the positive response to his claim has been far greater.
Hundreds of people, he said, has reached out to him to congratulate him and to offer their assistance.
“Literally hundreds of people have messaged me to find out how they can become involved.”
He added that among the people who reached out to offer their support were several politicians and other high profile people.
 “This is really the moment that everyone has been waiting for to see a change in how we deal with each other in Trinidad and Tobago.”

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