Next Wednesday, the High Court will rule whether 10 churches may join with the state in defending St Vincent and the Grenadines’ anti-buggery laws, and if they do, what role they will play.
According to a report by the Searchlight Newspaper, ten churches from the wider body called the Christian Coalition which comprises 100 churches, had already announced their decision last week to join the proceedings which are examining legal challenges filed by claimants, Sean MacLeish and Javin Vinc Johnson.
These claimants are openly gay Vincentians, living in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively, who claim that their fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution are being violated by the anti-buggery laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
However, although the churches have already announced their intention, it is for Justice Esco Henry who is presiding over the matter, to decide whether the 10 churches may join.
This Wednesday, November 13, she heard arguments from lawyer Meisha Cruickshank, one of churches’ representatives.
Interested parties such as attorney Mandela Peters who represents the Christian Coalition along with Cruickshank, and pastors Terrance Haynes of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Dr Cecil Richards from the Kingstown Baptist Church were also present.
The Office of the Attorney General (the respondents in the matter) had sent a contingent of lawyers as well, including lawyers Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, Cerepha Harper-Joseph, and Kezron Walters.
Claimant MacLeish was represented by attorney Jomo Thomas, while counsel Shirlan ‘Zita’ Barnwell appeared for Johnson.