Sexual Offences Bill Debate – Senator Hyacinth Benneth’s Summary Remarks 26.06.09 Part 2

See part1 below

Ms Bennett contined by asking:
“Can you really keep buggery between consenting male adults in the bedroom? she also stressed that granting homosexual rights would cause agitation for new penalties to address offences against same rights, she went on to say that Americans are grappling with whether to impose the controversial “hate crimes” legislation which would criminalize even a minister of religion saying that homosexual conduct is immoral.
“My observations are not in the least bit discriminatory, such labels cannot help us here.”
She went on to address the matter of incest briefly pointing out that she feared that groups in the name of “inclusion” may also demand rights such as a group promoting carnal knowledge if grown men with female children in high school.
“Would we craft our laws to suit them just because they demand inclusion?”
“We must again be driven by higher ideals and maintain values and standards that are in keeping with the common good. Anything else will eventually take us down the road to oral chaos where anything goes and everything will be relative except, of course, the concept of relativity itself. I think you get my point.
She then listed figures for Buggery and Rape for the years 2000 – 2008

…….although there has been a slight dip in cases of rape since 2000 from 870 to 849 in 2008 there have been increases and decreases over the period which indicate that we are not really getting rid of the problem. The total number of rapes during the period is 7,463. This is alarming.
In the case of buggery there has been a slight increase. Between 2000 and 2008, the number of cases has risen from 33 to 36 with a high of 47 in 2006, making total of 316 cases over the period.

Peter Tatchell’s Response to Hyacinth Bennett’s representation of his comments

please see Sexual Offences Bill Debate – Senator Hyacinth Benneth’s Summary Remarks 26.06.09 for the remarks.

British gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay group OutRage! said:

Jamaican MPs are misrepresenting my views on the causes of homosexuality.

“The scientific evidence on the cause of sexual orientation is set out in the book Born Gay. It demonstrates that genes and hormonal influences in the womb are major factors that cause people to be gay or straight. It is simply not true that people choose to be homosexual or bisexual.

“I dispute the claim that a gay gene causes homosexuality. In my view,genetic and hormonal explanations of gayness are important and significant, but they are not adequate and sufficient. Homosexuality is definitely not a conscious choice.

“A person’s sexuality is largely influenced before their birth and is firmly established by the age of six. It cannot be changed by so-called treatments and cures. This opinion is supported by the world’s leading biological and psychological authorities. I am dismayed the way some Jamaican MPs have misrepresented my views in defence of the country’s anti-gay laws.”

“The fundamental truth is that it does not matter whether people are born gay or not. Gay people are human beings and therefore we deserve

equal human rights. A person chooses their religion and politics, but that does not mean that persecuting them because of their beliefs is justified.

“It is time the heterosexual majority stopped fretting over the causes of homosexuality and ceased victimising the gay minority. Live and let live is the best policy. Love for gay people is the true Christian response, ” he said.


Senatorial idiocy (Gleaner Letter to The Editor) 29.06.09

(I agree that the presentations lacked understanding) see post below

The Editor, Sir:

I often wonder if good sense is a prerequisite for serving in either House of the Jamaican parliament. The most recent example of why I would ask this question are the statements attributed to senators Sandrea Falconer and Hyacinth Bennett. These statements are in relation to the proposed sexual offences law.

Among the proposals of Senator Falconer is to have the men who engage in homosexual relationship outside of their heterosexual relationships, be specifically punished. These statements are not what would be expected from someone who is supposedly educated. I wonder how the Senator would propose we enforce this? Are the police to be expected to conduct investigations into who men who cheat are sleeping with? What about men who cheat with other women; no special punishment for them? How about women who cheat on their men with other women is that acceptable in the eyes of the senator?

Lack of understanding

The other statement by Senator Bennett, shows a complete lack of understanding of gender and sexuality. Senator Bennett would like the law only to recognise sexual intercourse as covering penis and vagina that are defined at birth. So a woman who has had gender re-assignment surgery could rape a man who has had gender reassignment surgery and it would not be classified as such under Senator Bennett’s law.

Similarly, transgender women could be raped at will and would have no recourse under these laws. I would venture further and ask Senator Bennett about intersex individuals. What if neither organ is explicitly present at birth and later one is constructed, does that individual not deserve coverage under these rape laws?

The hatred of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Jamaica is so strong, even among the leadership that it leads to propo-sals that can only be described as occupying the ‘lunatic fringe’. It is particularly telling that these two individuals are black women who 100 years ago would have had as much right as a cow, yet they seem to be oblivious to the fact that the strides that they have been able to make were because others fought for their rights to fair and equal treatment under the law, and now persist to advocate for discrimination and what would amount to inhumane treatment of many of their fellow citizens.

I am, etc.,