Maurice Tomlinson In Conversation

Activist and The Abominable Crime subject Maurice Tomlinson in conversation with Matthew Waites, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow.

Maurice Tomlinson is a Jamaican lawyer, gay rights activist, and educator. He acts as counsel and/or claimant in cases challenging anti-gay laws before the most senior tribunals in the Caribbean and authors reports to regional and UN agencies on the human rights situation for LGBTI people in this region.

From 2009 to 2011, Maurice taught a variety of law courses at the University of Technology in Jamaica, including discrimination law. He was outed as a gay man in 2011, soon after filing a lawsuit against Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws and was forced to flee his native country for Toronto, Canada where he is now a senior policy analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Maurice received the inaugural David Kato Vision and Voice Award, which recognizes individuals who defend human rights and the dignity of LGBTI people around the world.

The conversation will focus particularly on Maurice’s experiences as represented in the film, both personally and as a lawyer, activist and educator.  In particular discussion will focus on Maurice’s groundbreaking legal action against Jamaica’s criminalisation of same-sex sexual behaviour.  This will be discussed in the context of a recent regionally groundbreaking ruling in Belize, and wider debates over national and transnational strategies for claiming human rights in the context of postcolonial power relations.

Matthew Waites is co-editor, with Corinne Lennox, of the open access volume Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change (School of Advanced Study, 2013), which includes two chapters covering Jamaica that discuss legal and activist strategies in postcolonial contexts (online here).  He is a co-founder of Glasgow Human Rights Network and an Associate Director of Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, organisations supporting this event.

This event is free and unticketed.


Event: In Conversation

Date: Saturday 22 October

Time: 1.30pm

Location: CCA Creative Lab