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Gay sex is no longer illegal in Antigua and Barbuda after the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a law in the said country that criminalizes same-sex acts is unconstitutional. The Caribbean court said that “the selection of an intimate partner is a private and a personal choice.”

Further, High Court Judge Marissa Robertson said in her ruling:

The Constitution is often described as a living instrument which gives significant room for the realization and enjoyment of individuals’ human rights. The very rights that the document espouses and protects are capable of evolution since concepts, attitudes and the understanding of human rights and dignity evolve over time.

The ruling also stated that Antigua and Barbuda’s 1995 Sexual Offenses Act “offends the right to liberty, protection of the law, freedom of expression, protection of personal privacy, and protection from discrimination on the basis of sex.”

The aforementioned 1995 act originated from a British colonial-era legislation that criminalized acts of “buggery” and “serious indecency.”

A gay man who works at Antigua’s Ministry of Health challenged the law in court alongside a local group called Women Against Rape Inc. He reportedly experienced discrimination at work where he was “persecuted and assaulted” not to mention “patients have refused treatment from him because of his sexual orientation.”

In an interview with BBC, Women Against Rape President Alexandrina Wong said, “We are very much hoping the Antigua ruling will prompt other legal systems in the Caribbean to review their laws and policies, and how they impact on vulnerable populations.”

Reportedly, similar constitutional challenges have been filed in Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Previously, same-sex acts in Antigua and Barbuda were punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years. It is also prohibited in seven other Caribbean countries including Barbados wherein those found guilty are sentenced to life imprisonment. Read the story in full here and here.

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