Sexual Offences Bill Debate – Senator Hyacinth Bennett’s Summary Remarks 26.06.09 Part 3

Continuing summary of Senator Bennett’s Presentation to the Senate on June 26, 2009 in Kingston. See posts below with previous summaries and responses.

The Bill……..she continued

1). Sexual intercourse and gender identity.

Section 2 of the bill reads that: “Sexual intercourse” means the penetration of the vagina of one person by the penis of another;
Mr. President I would urge that in these modern times that care be taken to state that the sexual organs of the vagina and the penis be clearly stated as the natural organs as defined by birth. The sex organs should not include any surgically constructed sex organs under circumstances such as where a person underwent a sex change. It is conceivable that a man can claim to change his gender to that of a woman and have a vagina surgically constructed and then seek to be covered under the definition of sexual intercourse. Maybe someone could even rename their sex organ as that of the opposite gender without surgery, based on their change in gender identity. One could argue that one’s gender is male even though one was born female and vice versa.
You see the modern thinking by some is that whilst sex is what you are born as eg. male or female, gender identity relates more to which sex you identify with or how the person views himself or herself. Hence a person could try to challenge the very meaning of the words “he” and “she”, such words are used throughout this bill to identify the sex of a person.
The definition of “sexual intercourse” must guard against these possibilities. For the avoidance of doubt, I would also recommend that gender be defined to mean the natural gender sex as determined by birth and that the references to words that in themselves do not state the person’s gender such as “offender”, “victim”, “complainant”, “adult” and “child” must not be construed in a manner that would in any way refer to persons in a given criminal offence as being persons of the same gender. I have also noticed that section 24 of the bill mentions “anal intercourse” in the same sentence as “vaginal intercourse” as if to say they were alternative forms of sexual intercourse. So as not to cause any uncertainty as to what is meant by sexual intercourse I would respectfully ask that what is referred to in section 24 as anal intercourse be replaced with buggery which has always been used to describe such acts.
I know that Senator Nicholson on the other side of the chamber had made a similar observation on the last occasion.

End –

more parts to come
My two cents, I am rather disappointed for the kind of reasoning Senator Bennett puts forward, I expected somehting of more substance being the most hailed educator that she is.


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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