A law that criminalizes consensual gay
sex in St. Kitts and Nevis was ruled unconstitutional on Monday.
According to Caribbean news outlet
Loop, Justice Trevor M. Ward of the High Court of Justice in
St. Kitts and Nevis struck down Sections 56 and 57 of the country's
Offenses Against the Person Act.
In his opinion, Ward said that the
colonial-era law violates a person's “right to protection of
personal privacy” and “freedom of expression.”
LGBTQ rights group St. Kitts and Nevis
Alliance for Equality challenged the law.
“This decision strongly establishes
that a person's sexuality should never be the basis for any
discrimination,” the group said in a statement.
St. Kitts and Nevis were among the
first Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans. The nation
gained independence from Britain in 1983.
According to Aljazeera, an
association of 30 Christian churches defended the law in an affidavit
submitted to the court.
Similar laws in other Caribbean nations
are also being challenged.