Appeal Court overturns interim order granted to gay pride group

Saturday, October 19, 2019

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THE Court of Appeal, noting that Supreme Court judge Justice David Batts had erred in his finding of facts, has overturned an interim injunction granted to the Montego Bay Pride to rent the public facilities at Montego Bay Cultural Centre for a forum on same-sex marriage.

Earlier this week, the St James Municipal Corporation announced it would appeal the decision of the Supreme Court granting an interim order after it had withdrawn approval for the event that had been scheduled for October 13, after learning that the topic to be discussed was 'Is Jamaica ready for same sex marriage?'

In handing down its ruling, Justice Patrick Brooks, one of three Court of Appeal judges who presided over the matter, said Justice Batts erred in his finding of facts.

Justice Brooks said as a result, the decision by Justice Batts must be set aside, with the Court of Appeal ruling also that a mandatory injunction could not be granted under the circumstances.

Montego Bay Pride, which says it was created to allow marginalised and abused members of Jamaica's LGBT communities feel like they have a place in the country, filed the lawsuit against the mayor and the St James Municipal Corporation after they banned the organisation from using the cultural centre.

The case was brought by Montego Bay Pride's founder and development coordinator, Maurice Tomlinson, an attorney, gay rights activist, educator and a senior policy analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, who is being represented by lawyers from Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ).

In his application for judicial review, Tomlinson said that by rescinding the permission given to Montego Bay Pride the cultural centre the decision of the mayor and the municipal corporation was “discriminatory, unconstitutional and ultra vires”.

— CMC


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