(RELIGION NEWS) – When he was 18, Kerwyn Jordan came out to his family and close friends, and he's been open about his sexuality for the past 26 years. But it has not been easy. Jordan said that for years he was beaten and bullied by neighbors, strangers and former work colleagues.
"Feelings of it linger on," said Jordan. "Since then I have been living in … gated communities where I can feel safe. But I still feel vulnerable."
In Trinidad and Tobago, same-sex relations are illegal, a remnant of colonial-era laws outlawing sodomy, and the twin-island Caribbean nation does not legally recognize same-sex marriage or unions. A regional study conducted by Caribbean Development Research Services in 2013 found that about 60 percent supported maintaining laws that outlaw same-sex sexual acts.
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But Jordan said he is excited about a new ruling that could pave the way for decriminalizing the homosexuality laws. On April 12, Trinidad and Tobago's high court ruled Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offenses Act "unconstitutional, illegal, null (and) void." The law makes buggery (sodomy) illegal, even if it takes place between two consenting adults, with a maximum 25-year prison sentence.