Jamaican ends legal challenge to anti-sodomy law

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Associated Press

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 29 at 11:01 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A Jamaican gay rights activist who brought a legal challenge to the Caribbean island's anti-sodomy law says he has withdrawn the case after growing fearful about safety.

Last year, Javed Jaghai made headlines after initiating a constitutional court challenge to Jamaica's 1864 law that bans sex between men.

But in an affidavit, Jaghai said he has been "threatened enough times to know that I am vulnerable." He believes his "loved ones are under threat."

On Friday, Janet Burak of New York-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World said the fear that pushed Jaghai to end his challenge "is the same fear that keeps gay men in Jamaica underground."

Jamaica's rarely used law bans anal sex and anything interpreted as "gross indecency" between men can be punished by two years in prison.

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