LGBT History Month – Forum on Gay Rights’ Relevance

In September 2000 JFLAG hosted a forum on whether gay rights were necessary in Jamaica. Present were Jamaicans for Justice representatives, human rights advocates, members of the legal fraternity, Amnesty International Rep and interested allies.

The forum helped to highlight that gays and lesbians suffered discrimination as a sexual minority and that gay rights are not divisible from human rights. The overwhelming challenge, therefore, remained apparent, to educate Jamaicans on the importance of upholding human rights as set out in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. First and foremost this regards to the right of life.

Coincidentally, the same day JGLAG had its forum, the then Prime Minister was quoted in the national paper as saying that hanging and sodomy laws will remain on the books as long as he is in power. This declaration was made less than an hour after he was returned unopposed as President of the People’s National Party (PNP), this solidified the necessity of human rights organizations to work together to uphold human rights in Jamaica.

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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