OPPOSITION LEADER Portia Simpson Miller yesterday urged Jamaica’s international partners to respect the majority views of Jamaicans on issues such as the death penalty and sexual preferences.
Making her contribution to the debate on the Charter of Rights Bill in Gordon House, Simpson Miller argued that on such highly sensitive matters the views of the majority must be taken into consideration.
She said several committees on the Charter of Rights Bill which received submissions from members of the public had agreed that a provision to restrict marriage and common-law relationships to one man and one woman should be final.
The Opposition leader wants Jamaica’s overseas partners to understand the country’s position, noting that a departure from this consensus could lead to deep disagreement among citizens and the authorities, leading to chaos within the State.
Pleased with ccj decision
Simpson Miller also said she was pleased with a recent decision by Prime Minister Bruce Golding to review his administration’s earlier position on the Caribbean Court of Justice as the country’s final court of appeal.
“That is what we were asking for, that the move to put the legislative foundation in place for the Charter of Rights and the Caribbean Court of Justice should be undertaken at one and the same time,” she said.
And the Opposition leader also hailed two former prime ministers for their work in advancing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Bill, which is now being contemplated for passage early next year.
“We are dedicating this exercise to former prime ministers, The Most Hon P.J. Patterson and The Most Hon Edward Seaga, for their extraordinary contribution to this process in which we are engaged, and in which the end is in sight for this Parliament, to give its stamp of approval,” said Simpson Miller.
Both former prime ministers had expressed the desire to have the charter debated and passed before they retired from representational politics.