Homo/Effemophobia & Homo-paedophile castigation masked as concerns for rights ????

So it seems.

In an Observer article today Michael Burke gave his take on Rights Responsibilities and Civics as it applies to Jamaica and wherein the articles title sounds all welcoming and opening with the passing of former talk show host and progay journalist Wilmot Mutty Perkins (photo below)also see:  Perkins scolded for his “tolerance”

Imagine my surprise when we go into the body of the article where he goes to the recent promise to review the buggery law and conscience vote by the present PM only to find he expresses this fear that homosexuals as child hunters/molesters, open effeminacy or cross dressing aesthetics are too much and that gay parades is homosexuality being shoved in the public’s face.

One would have thought by now we would have gotten pass this kind of garbage and while I agree freedom of speech is crucial the Observer seems to regress sometimes by accepting these kinds of articles, the offending paragraphs:

“………During the election debates in the lead-up to the general election last December, the question of gay rights was brought up. Portia Simpson Miller said that a People’s National Party government would review the buggery law. Homosexuality is a sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church number 2357), but homosexuals should be treated with dignity like everyone else, despite their sins (number 2358). If the law is changed to allow consenting adults to do what they want sexually in the privacy of their homes (excluding housing schemes where the houses are close), I am prepared to leave that up to Almighty God for judgement.

What should not be condoned is paedophilia, gay parades and cross-dressing in public. And parents and guardians should be liable to penalties if they cross-dress their children. This has been one of my concerns for more than two decades. In 2006, I wrote and sang a song called Man fe look like man. Homosexuality should not be shoved in everyone’s face anymore than prostitution or being forced to endure loud music after certain hours. And adults should have the right to bring up their children without undue influence of practising homosexuals, prostitutes or indecent songs in the media, which includes loud amplifiers. These are rights that should be in the Constitution.”

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Rights–responsibilities-and-civics_10786522#ixzz1mXuldP7y

Why do persons under the guise of intellectual discourse frothed with dishonest motive continue to misconstrue effeminacy or cross dressing with some contagious gay infection in the air that suddenly is going to change children or pubescent persons into flaming queens? Save and except of course the individual who realises his or her own sexuality, gender identity or sexual orientation by such presentations and may gravitate to same presentations via expressing their own feelings or a transgender individual or realises their mixed gender issues and decide to present as the gender they see themselves as which is far different from someone who is coerced into activities they may not necessarily subscribe to at that time. What about that enlightened parent or even not so enlightened ones who realises there are gender identity issues with their child or children and rightly consults a professional and the child/children are deemed as transgender and therefore are encouraged to aesthetically present the child as the gender they see themselves as prior to any reassignment surgery? ……….. it seems Mr Burke would have those parents criminally responsible for some crime in his world, what backward thinking. Is that cross dressing a child Mr. Burke?

And where in Jamaica are children cross dressed? 

This nonsense also of the Catholic church (Catechism of the Catholic Church number 2357) somehow issuing edicts unto and over people’s lives as if they are the be all and end all of all things religious and right when their hands are stained with blood with years of issues and impositions with their brand of religion in the name of God under some absolutist monarchist structure.

We need to stop this intellectual dishonesty in backing the anti homosexual agenda ……. I am getting a bit weary by all this tired trite arguments on this now.

I strongly suggest we bombard his email with RESPECTFUL but factual points on the clear separation between same sex paedophilia (sometimes the perpetrators are heterosexual) versus consenting same sex attracted adults and this business of cross dressing or tranvestitism linked to perceived changing others sexual orientation.

his email is: ekrubm765@yahoo.com

also see:


Continued misconceptions of adult homosexuals being paedophiles (click image to buy book)

Ephebophilia vs Paedophilia & Male Homosexuality part 2 …. the need to continue the discourse

Male Sexual Assault Myths …… “Cries of Men”

No Reported cases of Paedophilia say local Catholic Diocese Representative

Ephebophilia vs Paedophilia & Male Homosexuality

Brain scans used to detect paedophilia ……

What also is of concern is the section where he says “If the law is changed to allow consenting adults to do what they want sexually in the privacy of their homes (excluding housing schemes where the houses are close), I am prepared to leave that up to Almighty God for judgement.” this seems to be a swipe at a recent incident in Innswood St. Catherine or other similar exposures in housing schemes in lower middle income or inner city communities where prying eyes are closer and can lead to sometimes disastrous results for same gender loving Jamaicans. Obvioulsy the MSM community in upper St. Andrew and other affluent areas do not encouter this phenomenon save and except for the occasional murder in their own homes as they “import” thug type or hypermasculine types for sexual encounters and something goes wrong which does not mean these thug types were somehow straight and turned gay overnight just for money or material gains.

In the Innswood matter there were complaints of loud music, multiple visits from male thugs to some cross dressing sisters and the neighbours upset of the so called shenanigans which made mainstream news, yes I will agree we sometimes are our own worst enemy as it relates to our behaviour but that is in the  minority and is not a reflection of the vast majority of Jamaica’s same gender loving community.

see more here:  That Innswood matter ……

The line by Mr Burke also suggest a class demarcation where is it perceived that more affluent men try to force other males from the lower socio economic strata into same sex activity as if those men are not innately homosexual or bisexual outside of the gay for pay phenomenon which is real but not as pronounced as made out in terms of non gay men getting involved.

also see:  “Nuh boi cyaan” (No Boy can’t) song reinforces stigma of same gender loving men as rich predators

The music also reflects this thinking that masculine men are getting down for money in order to keep up appearances as these days the “swagg” is the order of the day in the metrosexual revolution we are seeing while declaring an effemophobic line and anti cross dressing stance.

“Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous. In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual. It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.” – Nicholas Groth – a pioneer in the scientific study of sexual offenders against women and children, who has treated over 3000 child molesters over the course of two decades. A former director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections, Groth is the author of Men Who Rape: Psychology of the Offender, a work widely regarded as a classic textbook on the psychology of sexual violence.

Peace and tolerance

H

Shirley Richards: No to reviewing the buggery law …..

Dear Editor,

Mrs Simpson Miller’s recent comments on the matter of homosexuality and sexual orientation have caused many of us to be seriously concerned. One wonders if Mrs Simpson Miller is aware of the following:

* In Europe, Canada and the USA pastors and others are punished for expressing disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle.

* Harry Hammond, the 69-year-old street preacher in England who was beaten by a group of homosexuals, was charged with inciting violence against himself.

* A middle-age Jamaican couple living in England, who had fostered children many times before, were recently denied the opportunity to foster because they could not tell a young child that it’s okay to be a homosexual.

* In Canada, kindergarten children in the public school system are exposed to homosexual teaching as if it were normal behaviour and their parents have no power to do anything about it.

* Catholic adoptions agencies in England have closed because they rightly refused to place children in homosexual households.

* Gary McFarlane, a solicitor of Jamaican descent living in England, who is also a professional counsellor, was sacked from his counselling job for refusing in principle to offer sex therapy to homosexuals.

* Buggery is the most efficient way to spread HIV/AIDS. Over the last two years the Government has spent over $590 million to fight the disease.

Shouldn’t Jamaica be doing everything in its power to discourage the disease? Why then review the buggery law?

Who are Mrs Simpson Miller’s advisors?

Jamaica is accustomed to standing on its own to defend principles. We are little, but we tallawah. Our success cannot be based on economics alone. Whilst we say no to physical violence against all persons, we also say no to reviewing laws and policies which currently block the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle.

People of Jamaica, be warned!

Shirley Richards

St Andrew

meanwhile: Portia Simpson Miller – SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11

also see previous Observer Letters linked below

Where was the church all along?

Dear Editor,

This is an open letter to all the organised groups of churches in Jamaica.

My name is Jevon Minto. I am currently in my second year at Northern Caribbean University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in religion and theology.

Jamaica is one of those countries where the church still influences the decisions of the State. And while this opportunity exists, no other group of people is more unconcerned about social life than the church. Every other group is speaking out, except the church. I think you all deserve a beating from God for rejecting the prophetic ministry that He has called you to, especially where it concerns politics.

If secularism takes over Jamaica you all should be blamed! If Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller did not propose to review the buggery law — if she is re-elected — would Jamaica hear anything from you [the church] at this time?

Imagine, three national political debates and not one of the panellists represented the church. Not one question was asked regarding the church. Why speak now and talk ill of the proposition made by the Opposition?

I am definitely not in support of homosexuality, but if the church did not assume such a passive role in the affairs of the nation, then we would not have a leader even thinking about making such a proposal in public.

It leads me to question your integrity. Are you Christian, or are you Christian excused? Did Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, behave in such a passive manner where the issues of the nation were concerned? Was He hypocritical, or was He a self-aggrandiser?

Did He not care for the entire man instead of just the Spiritual man? Until you care more about Jamaica rather than the church, reserve your comments. They only make people laugh at you and make God disappointed in you!

Jevon Minto

jminto10@stu.nuc.edu.jm

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Where-was-the-church-all-along_10447129#ixzz1hpPpGe5a

and

Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner

Dear Editor,

Mrs Simpson Miller’s statement regarding the buggery law was a brave and commendable act. I openly applaud her for exercising her right as a Jamaican citizen to speak freely about her views on the topical issue of homosexuality.

I believe that every Jamaican has the right to decide for himself or herself what sexual orientation he or she is comfortable with and wishes to pursue. This is why I believe that the uproar from the Council of Churches is just ridiculous. Firstly, she did not say she was about to legalise homosexuality, and secondly, how can the Christian bodies in this country advocate the continued marginalisation of a small fraction of our society?

Correct me if I am wrong. Wasn’t Jesus Christ the one who said that He came to save the lost and isn’t it also the belief and hope of every Christian to be like Jesus? So if they feel so strongly about the homosexual minority being ‘lost’ why not try to ‘save’ them by showing them the same love and compassion Jesus would?

Is it that those who choose to enter into same-sex relationships are less human than Jamaicans who are heterosexual? Homosexuals are people too. This I-am-better-than-you-and-so-have-the-moral-authority-to-bash-you mentality was the driving force for the enslavement of our beautiful black race for over 400 years, and it is definitely not Christian-like.

Jesus urged us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. As much as the Council of Churches dislikes it, homosexuals are our neighbours. Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner. It is full time for Jamaica to move away from homophobia. That sort of thinking is more crippling to our society than homosexuality is because it engenders abject disgust, hate and intolerance to our fellow Jamaican brothers and sisters who are exercising their freedom of choice.

Claudelle Maitland

 UWI Mona

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Jesus-hates-the-sin–not-the-sinner_10448020#ixzz1hpQH3bBy

also

Why a conscience vote on sodomy, Mrs Simpson Miller?

Dear Editor,

Baggaley et al of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Paddington, London, UK, reporting in the International Journal of Epidemiology of August 2010 in the article: “HIV transmission risk through anal intercourse: systematic review, meta-analysis and implications for HIV prevention”, stated that among both heterosexuals and homosexuals, “Unprotected anal intercourse is a high-risk practice for HIV transmission”.

Also, local media reported that the Jamaican Government found it necessary to set aside a total of some J$594 million for HIV prevention during the 2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011 fiscal years.

In light of this data, why would Mrs Simpson Miller consider bringing the decriminalisation of sodomy to a conscience vote ?

Wayne West

 Kgn 6

 wayne_west@hotmail.com

Church angry, gays happy PNP on collision course with Christians ………………. but some of us are not impressed

THE perennially controversial issue of homosexuality appears to have set the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) on collision course with some sections of the Christian Church.

PNP Leader Portia Simpson Miller shocked the television audience watching her debate with Prime Minister Andrew Holness Tuesday night, with her suggestion that the buggery law should be reviewed and that she was not opposed to having gays in a Cabinet led by her.

“That is very concerning for me [reviewing the buggery law] and I am disappointed that we are still insisting to go back in that direction, because the matter was dealt with in the amended Bill of Rights earlier this year,” said Rev Al Miller, pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle in Kingston.

Miller said he was equally disappointed with the Opposition Leader’s stance that she had no problem admitting anyone to her Cabinet once they were qualified to carry out their duties.

“I am seriously concerned about that, because it is saying that moral values becomes secondary to ability to perform,” the pastor said, adding: “That kind of approach would be difficult for Christians to support because character and integrity takes precedence over ability.”

Associate pastor of the Tower Hill Missionary Church, Rev Mark Dawes also took offence at Simpson Miller’s stance: “If we remove the buggery law, then we might be opening the floodgate for sexual anarchy,” he cautioned.

He said, however, that he understood her belief that no one should be prevented from being apart of a Cabinet once they were qualified to do so, even if they subscribed to the gay lifestyle.

“If the person is not promoting that lifestyle, then I could grow to be comfortable with them in the Cabinet, but if it is somebody who is championing the lifestyle and advocating for it, then I’ll have a problem,” Dawes said.

In the debate, Simpson Miller said: “We should have a look at the buggery law,” distancing herself from Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding who told a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) interviewer he would not allow a homosexual in his Cabinet.

The Seventh-day Adventists also rejected the call to revisit the buggery law, while saying they had no problem with gays in a Cabinet.

“The issue is with reviewing the law, that’s where the church has an issue. Like any other faith-based organisation, we are concerned because it goes against the biblical side of things,” said SDA director of communication, public affairs and religious liberty, Nigel Coke.

But general secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union, Rev Karl Johnson commended Simpson Miller for tackling the issue head on when asked by a journalist in the debate. Reviewing the law did not necessarily mean that a change would occur, Johnson argued.

“I think it is a commendable thing to always review our laws to see whether they speak to current realities, whether they are still informed by values and norms that we can sustain both as a country and I would say as a religious community,” he said.

President of the Jamaica Association of Full Gospel Churches, Bishop Rohan Edwards said he believed that a review of the buggery act would not affect the way the church viewed the homosexual lifestyle.

“We don’t have a problem with the revisiting buggery law, but we know the law that we have to answer to which is the word of God. So they have the right to revisit anything they want to,” he said.

For its part, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) welcomed Simpson Miller’s position. Executive director of the lobby group, Dane Lewis, said: “We are very encouraged by the statement, it was a very bold statement by a political leader knowing the history of statements which our leaders have made and so we look forward to seeing what is to come if they certainly do form the next government.

“It really speaks loudly to a respect for the human rights of all Jamaicans, including those who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender,” he noted.

He said he was disappointed with the response given by Holness who was very cautious in his response when he stated that his “sentiment must be the sentiment of the country”.

“We are disappointed that the prime minister, even though he had another opportunity to make certainly a bold statement, he didn’t,” he said. “It is very clear that he is going to pander to the religious community and vaguely step around the issue,” Lewis asserted.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Church-angry–gays-happy#ixzz1hH2S6qYH

Meanwhile

Dr. Lentworth Anglin, Convenor of the Umbrella Croup of Churches said on CVM News 21.12.11 “We consider homosexuality, lesbianism, same sex marriage to be anti scripture and therefore we oppose that kind of behaviour, we are not necessarily dictating to individuals how they should live, we’re just stating a position, we are not trying to necessarily trying to deprive persons of opportunity for service to the nation but we are just simply presenting our position.”

HERE IS MY TWO CENTS IN AUDIO:  On Buggery & Gays in Cabinets ……… 21.12.11

Also see on sister blog GAY JAMAICA WATCH –

On Buggery and gays in cabinets with politics ………… some responses …………

Peace and tolerance

H

Rev Al Miller on the Abnormality of Homosexuality & the invented gay marriage rights ploy

So this week again on his television show Word Power as was expected Reverend Al Miller pushed his anti gay position and associated the invented gay marriage issue as was hinted to by the Prime Minister in an interview with Ian Boyne on Profile on television Jamaica and a previous Gleaner editorial posted HERE.  No LGBT group or individual at this time of ever as far as I am aware has asked for gay marriage rights and it has been a smoke screen used to deny any acceptance of tolerance of LGBT issues in the public domain. We cannot even get past this debate and the confusion of buggery with homosexuality in general. One wonders if Reverend Miller is using this issue to repair his public image which has taken a battering since the Dudus Coke matter earlier this year and the subsequent missing gun trial where he, the goodly pastor was found guilty, a recent news service reported:

Reverend Al Miller has been found guilty of negligence resulting in the loss or theft of his licensed firearm. 

Reverend Miller, who is the pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle Church, in St Andrew, was charged in January earlier this year.

Senior Resident Magistrate Lorna Williams announced the verdict when the case resumed today in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court.

In handing down her ruling, Williams said she rejected the unsworn statement Miller gave in his defence.

Responding to the verdict, Miller said it shows flaws in the system.

Allegations are that the reverend and his daughter were on their way home when they stopped at a school in the Shortwood area, of St Andrew, to pick plums.

He reportedly left a pouch containing the firearm and several rounds of ammunition in his car, but returned to find them missing.

Reverend Miller is also before the courts on separate charges. He has been charged for harbouring a fugitive and attempting to pervert the course of justice after then fugitive Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke was captured in his car along the Mandela Highway, in St Catherine.

Does Reverend Miller have the moral authority to speak? what is a pastor doing with a firearm? that is not to say he does not have the right to bear arms but the power of God should be your guide not a weapon that destroys that ends up missing and he conveniently forgot to report it to the relevant authorities.

This weekend at the Heroes Circle Reverend Al Miller’s church will be hosting Pastor,  self described ex gay Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin (above) who will be here for two days of concerts and meetings with other clergy. Is this a sign of the use of reparative therapy rebuttals towards the present debate on the UK aid removal, the challenge by Lord Anthony Gifford et al to the buggery law, homosexuality in general and a shot in the arm to the mounting opposition from other circles and individuals such as Shirley Richards past President of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, LCF? In 2004, Mr. McClurkin sang at the Republican National Convention. The appearance generated criticism for the event organizers and McClurkin for his statements on homosexuality. He claims to have struggled with homosexuality during his youth for several years, but states that he is now “delivered” from the condition. McClurkin wrote that homosexuality is a spiritual issue and that one can be delivered from it but by God; “The abnormal use of my sexuality continued until I came to realize that I was broken and that homosexuality was not God’s intention […] for my masculinity.” He then describes himself as going through a process by which he became “saved and sanctified.” McClurkin has stated that homosexuality is a curse McClurkin also speaks openly about sexual issues since becoming the biological father of a child with a woman to whom he was not marriage  He uses these life experiences in his concerts and speaking engagements.

Let us never forget that both Miller and Richards were present at the Charter of Rights sittings which saw the change of the definition of sex in the original draft of 2006 as they thought it was a loophole for homosexual rights in the future.

This morning Reverend Miller said among other things:

“…remember to pray for our leaders because the word of God says that first of all that prayer should be made for those in authority that we may lead a quieter and peaceable life, remember that the decisions that are made  by those in the seat of governance affect our lives so we want to pray that the wisdom of God, we want to keep the negative forces of evil away so that they will make the right and wise decisions that will ensure our nations is able to become  a productive nation and deal with the social ills.  

Last week we mentioned that issue, the homosexuality thing  continues to be in the air ……… lot of continuing comments to what the British Prime Minister said in the wanting to pressure nations like Jamaica to conform to change our laws to allow that the homosexual lifestyle should be accepted as an alternative   normative lifestyle and as he indicated that those who don’t conform they are considering cutting aid I have indicated we appreciate the aid from our international partners we need it as part of our development process but aid must never be at any cost if it is against the principles of spiritual righteousness  holiness and challenging the morality of our society then it is not a price we are prepared or can afford to pay for economic aid and let us know that if we take a principled stand that out prime minister has done I hope and pray he will continue to maintain a principled stance as the former prime minister did and their government to stand strong and resolute against that practice.

We are not by any means against persons  who have a certain lifestyle, we’ll understand it, we’ll help them, we’ll support them we will pray for them but we cannot take a position that it is normative, it is abnormal, it is not normative and it is not something we can now redefine marriage to include by no means  and so if it means aid won’t come because of that then we must be prepared to suffer for what is right, I tell you more if we stand for what is right on principles  then God will make another way for us all the time deliverance will come from another place, so I’m not worried, don’t you be worried either, we have a God who is on our side cause righteousness exalteth a nation ……”   

Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11

Al Miller sounds like that Ugandan preacher from the Uganda Unitarian Church leading the anti gay campaign as funded by US conservative religious groups which was revealed recently (also see:  Intersections of Church and State where the connections are shown in a documentary on the issue) In 2009, the Ugandan Parliamentary proposed an anti-homosexuality bill that would impose the death penalty on serial offenders of homosexual acts. Inciting fear and sanctioning homophobia, the bill has caused LGBT Ugandans to be hunted in their communities and forced into exile, the documentary focuses on the man behind the bill and his supporters, and exposes the political and financial influence used by powerful conservatives in the U.S. to export their anti-gay agenda overseas.

also hear my commentary:

No to Gay Marriage in Jamaica etc .. my two cents from way back in 2009 (ignore snapvine references please)

and 

Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica …. Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11

Let us also not forget we got some $327 million debt relief earlier this year.

Here is Bruce Golding on his feet where he cleverly merged the invented gay marriage smoke screen into the Charter of Rights Debate in October 2009

PM Golding seen here gesticulating in a documentary called “Taboo Yardies” where he said among other things“…… I have challenged the gay community to explain, when they insist that we must change our laws to recognize and accept homosexual relations as a normal thing and we must do it because people should be free to choose, that’s the philosophical argument ….” 

see Rev Al Miller’s previous sentiments some months ago:

Rev Al Miller says gay lobby is using the guise of tolerance to get the nation to accept the “gay lifestyle” on September 11, 2011

here is an older interview

Aug 23, 2011

Rev. Al Miller Fellowship Tabernacle (Church) and Arlene Harrison – Henry ( Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights I.J.C.H.R.) Debated about Sexual Equality

Peace and tolerance

H

Gays have rights too: The Caribbean dilemma (Observer)

A statement by the prime minister of Britain, David Cameron, that his Government will not provide budgetary aid to governments that violate human rights including by discriminating against homosexuals and lesbians, has angered sections of Caribbean society.

The angry response may have arisen over a misunderstanding of Cameron’s remarks made in a BBC interview at the end of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia from October 28 to 30. The remarks were not made at the CHOGM itself.


Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Gays-have-rights-too–The-Caribbean-dilemma_10145250#ixzz1daFD6PLB

While Cameron did say that his Government would not provide general budget support to governments that do not uphold human rights, including the rights of homosexuals, lesbians and vulnerable communities such as young girls, his remarks were not specifically about homosexuals and he did not say that all aid would be withheld.

In any event, no independent Caribbean country is a recipient of General Budget Aid from Britain, and, therefore, not one of them would be affected. In this regard, the response to Cameron’s remarks could have benefited from more careful study.

Cameron did not state a new position. What he said has been the British Government’s published policy since earlier this year when the Department for International Development (DFID) conducted a study, involving a wide range of organisations and countries, from which it was decided that General Budget Aid to governments should be linked to good governance, accountability and respect for human rights. British budgetary support is only 16 per cent of the UK’s annual aid budget of £7.46 billion (US$12.1 billion).

Nevertheless, the policies, laws and practices applicable to homosexuals and lesbians are real and growing issues in the Caribbean, not only from a human rights standpoint but as a public health one too.

At the CHOGM in Perth, an Eminent Persons Group (EPG), of which I am a member, delivered a report to Heads of Government, who commissioned it at their meeting in Trinidad two years ago, on ways to reform the Commonwealth to make it relevant to its times and its people.

Included in the 106 recommendations in the report was one that governments “should take steps to encourage the repeal of discriminatory laws that impede the effective response of Commonwealth countries to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and commit to programmes of education that would help a repeal of such laws”. Amongst these laws are those that criminalise homosexuality.

The recommendation proved to be difficult for many African and Caribbean governments. Of the current 53 nations of the Commonwealth, 41 of them retain laws that criminalise homosexuality in particular. Some of these laws dictate that homosexuals should be flogged and jailed. Of the 41 states with such laws, all 12 of the independent Commonwealth Caribbean countries are included.

Remarkably, these laws are relics of the colonial past. They were introduced in the Caribbean by the British Colonial government. But while Britain, like the majority of countries in the world, has moved on to decriminalise homosexuality, the colonial laws remain in many parts of Africa and the Caribbean.

In Britain, Australia, Canada, the United States and the majority of European and Latin American nations, many homosexuals and lesbians, freed from the criminalisation of their sexual preferences, have risen to the top of their careers. Many are captains of industries, government ministers, leading sports persons and even members of the armed forces doing duty in dangerous places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Caribbean, however, homosexuals are marginalised and the majority remain hidden, terrified of the consequences of “coming out”.

Caribbean governments face serious difficulties over this issue. There is a strong prejudice in societies based on both a lack of education and reluctance to engage the issue in public fora. The Churches in the Caribbean are the most unyielding, constraining political parties from adopting a more enlightened and modern-day view of the matter.

The facts indicate that 60 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV and 33.3 million presently live with the virus. Over 60 per cent of the people living with HIV reside in Commonwealth countries. The region with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS per capita is the Caribbean. In this sense, the problem for the Caribbean is one of human rights and public health.

Homosexuals who live under the risk of flogging and jail are reluctant to reveal themselves if and when they become HIV-infected. Consequently, they are left untreated and the disease spreads and eventually they die, although the real cause of death is usually hidden.

In any event, the laws criminalising homosexuality are depriving the Caribbean of the use of remarkably talented people in all fields of life who could be contributing to the development and prosperity of every Caribbean country. Some homosexuals have already emerged — despite the laws and the stigma — as outstanding Caribbean citizens, revered not only in the region but in other parts of the world, but they have been persons of great courage and unquestionable ability. Others have simply fallen by the wayside, or are living lives of lies.

On the eve of the CHOGM in Perth, Helen Clark, the head of the United Nations Development Programme, wrote to Commonwealth leaders pointing out that “it is important and urgent” for them “to promote and secure the repeal of the discriminatory laws which impede effective national HIV responses”. She called for “legislative initiatives and programmes which will repeal discriminatory laws” that “can not only turn back the HIV epidemic, but also improve the health and development of their citizens”.

She urged leaders “to seize this opportunity for the Commonwealth to turn a corner in preventing and controlling HIV by embracing the proposals to repeal laws which impede effective HIV responses”.

In part, it was to this urging that the British prime minister was responding when he spoke in the BBC interview of the need to repeal discriminatory laws.

The issue will not go away. Britain’s linking of General Budget Aid to respect for human rights is one response. Others will follow in different ways. As the international community sees it, homosexuals and lesbians are entitled to rights too, as long as they do not affect the rights and preferences of others.

The Caribbean will have to face up to that reality — as most of the rest of the world has. The best way to start is by informed public discussion.

Sir Ronald Sanders is an international consultant and former Caribbean diplomat

Responses and other commentaries at: http://www.sirronaldsanders.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Gays-have-rights-too–The-Caribbean-dilemma_10145250#ixzz1daF6EtCs

my two cents – Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica …. Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11

 

 

Not Ready For Gays ……. Gay Marriage smoke screen reintroduced ……………. political dodging

Jamaica is making positive steps towards securing and meeting its human-rights and civil-rights obligations says new Prime Minister Holness.

Why is the new Prime Minister made to look as if he is resorting to The Gay Marriage smoke screen as his predecessor did, did we ever ask for gay marriage rights in Jamaica? I don’t think so, when we can’t even get pass just being seen as citizens of this country? is the Gleaner glibly adding this issue of gay marriage to murk the waters? Is the new Prime Minister stalling for time? See the Gleaner’s headline first and the other materials and decide for yourselves:

Not Ready For Gays

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Despite renewed pressure from Britain for Jamaica to repeal its anti-buggery law, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it will be up to Jamaicans to signal such a desire.

Holness, who described himself as a “liberal in many things” and “a fiscal conservative on the economic side”, said the Government recognises that homosexuality offends many Jamaicans.

“What the international community must be aware of in the Jamaican context is that we are a democracy, and this democracy is opening up more; people are talking; there are discussions, and I think they should support the evolving discussion. Over time, our democracy will settle at a position,” Holness said, in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner.

Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to withhold aid from governments that did not repeal existing laws that criminalise homosexuality.

un request

On Friday, gay-rights group Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) claimed that Jamaica has been requested by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee to take specific actions to protect and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jamaicans and to report on the steps taken by next year.

“The committee has requested that the Government take steps to amend the buggery law and provide protection for LGBT persons and human-rights defenders. Specifically, they recommended that the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms be reviewed to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, and provide an update in one year,” a release from JFLAG said.

For his part, Holness stressed that Jamaica has done much to protect individual rights and liberty.

He said governments have to pay attention to defending human rights and protecting civil rights.

While conceding that the country needs to do more in the area of human rights – for example, including that of protecting children, Holness said Jamaica has been honouring its obligations under international conventions.

He told The Sunday Gleaner that civil-rights provisions in the Constitution continue to be a work in progress.

“We spent almost 12 years debating what those civil rights should be, and those civil rights are now enshrined in a Charter of Rights,” Holness said.

“And so, Jamaica is making positive steps to securing and meeting its human-rights and civil-rights obligations. Jamaica will continue (to do so) as it is a good global citizen, to meet these obligations.

“We pay attention, as we are global citizens, to what people have said, including what our own people are saying, and it is a conversation that is evolving,” he added.

consider public impact

Holness argued that while it is important to protect the liberty of the person and the private space of the individual, the law must take into consideration the public impact of behaviours.

“People’s private actions have public effect. In the Jamaican context, there is a public effect and governments have to pay close attention to that,” he said.

Jamaica’s Charter of Rights, which was passed by Parliament this year, does not recognise same-sex marriages.

When the Charter of Rights was being debated, then Prime Minister Bruce Golding made it clear his administration was not in support of gay marriages.

“There is the possibility that, some time in the future, Parliament could pass a law that says same-sex unions are legal, but it won’t be done in this Parliament – not as long as I sit here,” Golding said.

“I make no apology in saying decisively and emphatically that the Government of Jamaica remains irrevocably opposed to the recognition, legitimisation or acceptance of same-sex marriages or same-sex unions,” Golding declared.

The former prime minister, who had declared he would not appoint gays to his Cabinet, said that while he accepts that Government “should not interfere in what two consenting adults choose to do within their own protected privacy, I will not accept that homosexuality must be accepted as a legitimate form of behaviour or the equivalent of marriage”.
daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com

ENDS

My two cents continued


The particular tranche of aid that maybe affected is a bilateral one known as general support,the aid was vital as it was used to rehabilitation programs for deportees who are helped to rejoin society, training and support. National Security Minister Dwight Nelson said on a radio interview that if aid was cut Jamaica could not afford to run such a program at this time.

Let us also not forget we got some $327 million debt relief earlier this year.

This issue has not been properly ventilated from day one, I still contend that the UK Prime Minister never named the countries although implied he was suggesting but one would imagine it would be the African states as they have been far more active in as far as anti gay legislation and subtle support of violence sanctioned by their complicity. We could have been more cautious before coming down on it. Also the suggestion by some American rights activists such as Truth Wins Out and In The Life Media who say Christian right movements and conservatives are supporting financially the religious anti gay lobbyists in Uganda in particular in the push for that country’s anti gay bill presented being debated in their parliament.

also see:  Intersections of Church and State where the connections are shown in a documentary on the issue

No Jamaican government and indeed the opposition are going to support this political dynamite that can make or break the life of a politician given the emotional sentiments of many ill-informed Jamaicans on the ground coupled with the dangerous down low community who in a desperate attempt to remain so join the public anti gay throng and their sentiments. The opposition by the way (People’s National Party PNP) has a far more larger LGBT support than the JLP does and even though they conveniently sided the ruling JLP on the invented gay marriage trope thrown in the Charter of Rights debate in 2009/10 has been extremely silent on this issue since it broke.

Here is former Prime Minister Bruce Golding on his feet in October 2009 on gay marriage during The Charter of Rights Debate:

also see:  Gay Marriage – An Invented Issue by the christian right movement

here is my two cents further in audio: On The UK Aid Removal and Holness’s Response …….. 06.11.11  –

and an archived discussion on the issue on nationwide with the PM in October 2009 declaring his opposition to supposed Gay Marriage –

Nationwide on the PMs speech on same sex marriage October 14, 2009

also see more from my sister blogs:

Why the British PM can wield a big ‘homosexuality’ stick (Observer) …… smoke in the room buggery vs homosexuality confusion

Reactions continue to come in on the UK’s stance on AID to anti gay laws hosting nations

PNP: Homosexuality, death penalty serious issues ……….. Dealing with cultural diversity a major task for the PNP

Ghana refuses to grant gays’ rights despite aid threat

CVM TV’s Live @ 7 on the UK AID Withdrawal threat & responses …….

from the BBC

 Cameron threat to dock some UK aid to anti-gay nations

 

and a press release from 

Government to Report on the state of “Buggery” Laws in 2012

here is a sense of some of the amounts we have recieved over the years 1968 – 2008 more HERE

nov 7, 2011 –  a letter in reponse to the Gleaner piece was published in the same paper as penned by AIDSFREEWORLD consultant and lawyer Maurice Tomlinson in a sense welcoming the PM’s stance ….. Liberate Gays

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In the lead story of The Sunday Gleaner of November 6, 2011 titled ‘Not ready for gays’, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, “People’s private actions have public effect. In the Jamaican context, there is a public effect, and governments have to pay close attention to that.”

This is a most rational and commendable acknowledgment by the new PM. Pity he didn’t, or wasn’t allowed to, expound on the public effect of continued criminalisation of private, consensual, adult male same-sex intimacy.

In this regard, I would like to highlight that many heterosexual women have approached me urging that I increase the level of advocacy around decriminalisation of adult male same-sex intimacy, simply because they are not sure who they are in bed with.

If gay men (estimated at seven to 10 per cent of the population) were able to engage in their own sexual relations unmolested by the law, they would be less likely to expose their female partners (and resulting children) to untold physical and psychological harm.

Failure to decriminalise homosexual activity is condemning the Jamaican public to many more years of unnecessary misery.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

maurice_tomlinson@yahoo.com

I have a major issue with this as it smacks on a tacit support that HIV is gay disease and the links in the bisexual population which also smacks of biphobia from the adovcacy structure that is more pro gay than bi or transgender concerned. Here is my audio response as well – Liberate Gays Letter by Tomlinson Biphobia by default 07.11.11

Peace and tolerance

H

Rev Al Miller says gay lobby is using the guise of tolerance to get the nation to accept the “gay lifestyle”

Restorative advocate and Pastor for that church on Constant Spring Road Al Miller who is also still in the courts for his mysterious gun disappearance, imagine a pastor who is so forthright in believing God carrying a firearm? plus the controversial issue of assisting known fugitive Christopher Dudus Coke a charge to which he has not provided any sensible answer for when he was deemed to be circumventing the local laws by assisting Coke to go to a foreign power that being the United States Embassy where he was said to be taking the reputed area leader when they were stopped via a police cordon. These kind of double whammies and hypocrisy from supposed men of the cloth just makes the issue of contradicting or proposing reparative therapy for homosexuals weak in my eyes. Let us not forget this is the same pastor who was present alongside the anti gay Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship during the amended Sexual Offences Bill and Charter of Rights Bill debates where sexual orientation were removed for a basis of discrimination.

Yesterday September 10, 2011 on his regular television program called Word Power which has been off the air for some time due to his legal woes and supposed financial problems as many sponsors had pulled from the show and his ministry, he returned putting on a strong show of force and of course using the gay issue which we all know emotes emotional responses easily and has been used as a tool to rile up audiences and church congregants time and again he commented on the recent furor over the rejected Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG tolerance ad number 2 by the major television stations this is while their first ad has been aired albeit late at nights but was a start, I think the J has rushed the gun but anyway

He said in his remarks

“Nothing is wrong with loving someone but disagreeing or disliking their lifestyle and the issue is the lifestyle we are not against, the Christians the word of god is not against the individual cause we are all sinners but we must recognize sin as sin, wrong is wrong and so although we may accept and embrace the person but we must say that the conduct is not right  and what the gay agenda is about is wanting the society to accept the lifestyle as being right but they are using the guise of tolerance, of course we can be tolerant with the individual but we must have the right to be intolerant to a practice that is not right it is in the same vein as anyone who practices a lifestyle that is inconsistent with correct behaviour or good for a society, if it is stealing if it is murder or any other kind of crime that is not good for society. We must embrace the indivdual but we must reject the lifestyle the behaviour and it is the same, it is the behabviour, when we talk about the protection of rights the protection of rights if gays already exists because all their natural rights are there but what they are crying for is not protection of rights against harm in as much as crying for the acceptance of the lifestyle so that we will elgitimise a lifestyle which is contrary to moral law to natural law to social order and all that certainly is good and decent and wholesome and will ensure our fulfillment of the mandate that we were given by our creator.

So it’s a matter for continued prayer and we must be very active and yet very positive and confident and we want to make it clear that we must not, we are not against the persons we’re against a lifestyle and the lifestyle is wrong and there are even some in the church who don’t believe that, the human rights movements are out there cause they are asking the question that who determines right and wrong? right and wrong for us is determined by God and the word of God who created us and gave us a manual The Bible how to live in society and so hence when right and wrong is in God then we stand upon the basis of the word but many want right and wrong to rest in the thing that makes us feel good and if I don’t mind doing it and if it’s alright with me then it’s alright, no, right and wrong does not begin in us sinful men right and wrong is in the creator who created us in his image to bear his likeness and anything that’s contrary to his likeness is out of his order, so that’s our approach and our thoughts on the matter.”

ENDS

also see a recent Gleaner article:

Church Head Says He Is Open To Talks On

Bigotry, Intolerance

also see Anti gay pastor and restorative therapy advocate in trouble with the law again from sister blog GLBTQJA on blogger

and A word to the reverend (anti gay Al Miller) ……..

Observer’s Clovis captures quite comically depicts the entrapment that caught the Rev carrying the area leader in full drag to the United States embassy to supposedly bypass local security.

Some questions for the goodly Rev from all that above:

If we are to understand this latest position then are you then espousing tolerance by accepting the individual?

isn’t this argument about lifestyle a cop out?

Lifestyle is one but what about the individuals orientation?

Are we to simply ignore that matter of choice and freedom of choice of the individual?

Who are we to judge others?

Do you know the difference between lifestyle and orientation and or sexual preference?

Are you struggling with your own sexual urges towards men?

What are you afraid of regarding this matter of same gender love?

UPDATE September 24th

Al Miller Guilty – Judge Rejects Pastor’s Unsworn Statement

 

Unmoved! – Rev Miller Remains Active Preacher

Reverend Al Miller has insisted that he would remain in the pulpit despite his criminal conviction yesterday.

Within minutes of the guilty verdict handed down by Senior Resident Magistrate Lorna Williams, Miller declared: “It does not in any way affect me.”

“It does not affect how I approach things, what I do and how I do it. I continue to do what I have to do,” insisted Miller, pastor of the St Andrew-based Fellowship Tabernacle church.

He seemingly acknowledged that his conviction could trigger widespread debate about his continued role as head of the popular church, but argued that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.

“Like anything in life, people will have their perception and those perceptions may vary,” he told The Gleaner.

My readers you decide how to interpret this latest counter from the goodly reverend.

here is an older interview

Aug 23, 2011

Rev. Al Miller Fellowship Tabernacle (Church) and Arlene Harrison – Henry ( Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights I.J.C.H.R.) Debated about Sexual Equality

Peace and tolerance

H

Governments Have Failed To Mitigate Risks Of Homophobia says JFLAG

Corbin Gordon

Successive governments have failed to promote the human rights of our people, including the poor and most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society. Unfortunately, legislative reform has not been short on guaranteeing that, as a secular society (not a theocracy), our laws are designed to “engender a sense of belonging in our citizens [and] ensure equality of opportunity and equal rights for all” (PIOJ, 2009:13-14).

Despite our motto, ‘Out of Many One People’, Parliament has neglected to provide any guarantee for non-discrimination based on health status, whether you are HIV-positive or mentally ill, for example, disabled, or of a non-heterosexual orientation. The recently passed Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms provides the perfect lens through which we can determine how biased we are as a people.

Within this context, I wish to respond to a news article titled ‘Lesbianism a concern for educators’ and a letter ‘Gay campaign must be spurned’ that were both published in The Gleaner on May 25. According to the article, “There is the growing challenge of lesbianism in the education system.”

The article exposes the reality that far too many persons, including our guidance counsellors, are incapable of separating their religious and personal beliefs from their professional roles. Additionally, there seems to be a gap in the training of counsellors to sensitise them about sexuality, including sexual orientation, from a scientific and human rights-based perspective. It is necessary that we all understand that everyone has some kind of sexual orientation, which is the sexual or emotional attraction to others.

‘Unchristian-like behaviour’

According to the American Psychological Association: “Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality.” Contextual factors such as homophobia or teachers warning students they will be punished for “unchristian-like” behaviour incapacitate an individual from actively participating in his or her community or utilising services provided by the State.

Such an outlook can also ostracise persons and the groups to which they belong, result in antisocial behaviours, poor academic and work performance, force homosexuals into heterosexual marriages, among other things.

The writer of the letter, which was published in The Gleaner, argues that homophobia is not prevalent in Jamaica and that it is a medical term. Homophobia is an irrational hatred, intolerance, and fear, which has religious, legal and medical underpinnings. In our case, antipathy is expected of every Jamaican by an engrained cultural sanction. Furthermore, with more than 200 reggae and dancehall songs promoting social exclusion, hatred, harassment and violence against gays and lesbians, there is no doubt that Jamaicans are homophobic.

In a recently published study on attitudes and perceptions of Jamaicans towards same-sex relationship, Professor Ian Boxill, using two homophobia scales to develop an instrument for Jamaica, found there is a high level of homophobia among Jamaicans. Furthermore, the incidents of violence meted out to homosexual and bisexual men and women are evidence of the pervasive bigotry which exists. Since January 2011, there have been more than 20 reports of abuse on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender expression. Last year, more than 40 were reported.

It is clear that we have far to go in understanding issues of gender and sexuality, particularly within the context of our laws, religiosity and morality. Nonetheless, it is critical that Parliament, with the support of organisations like The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays, create a space for dialogue so Jamaicans can recognise that homophobia does exist, is affecting the lives of many, most of whom suffer in silence, and, most important, appreciate the principles of human rights for all.

Corbin Gordon is the programme and advocacy coordinator at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays

Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship hypocrisy from Shirley Richards: “Charter Of Rights And The Moral Divide” (read carefully)

Below is an excerpted address by Shirley Richards, attorney-at-law and immediate past president of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, to the Lions Club of Kingston last Wednesday April 7th

Like it or not, the Charter of Rights, having been passed by both Houses of Parliament, is expected to become law shortly. I think, maybe, that you may be interested in knowing a few of the expected changes which will come to our society as a consequence of the charter. Here are a few of the changes:

Philosophical change in the approach to rights: In what will shortly become the previous document, rights are stated but circumscribed by limitations. In this document, it is fair to say that except for those specific limitations which have been saved, the only limitations which will be recognised will be such as are demonstrably ‘justified in a free and democratic society’.

The document has both vertical and horizontal effects, meaning that we now have rights against the Government and also against each other. Expect the society then to become more litigious.

The major new rights are the right of a child to publicly funded tuition at the pre-primary and primary levels (Section 13 (k)). The right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment (Section 13 (l)). This should mean, therefore, that we will be able to sue persons who drive defective vehicles on the road as well as companies whose plants emit poisonous fumes.

civic intervention

Civic organisations can now intervene on behalf of individuals whose rights have been contravened or are likely to be contravened (Section 19 (2)).

Care has been taken to preserve the death penalty [Section 13 (7)], legislation that deals with sexual offences, offences that pertain to the life of the unborn, and laws that pertain to obscene publications [Section 13 (12)]. It remains to be seen how the courts will deal with these laws which have been retained.

Marriage has also been defined [Section 18 (2)] as follows:

No form of marriage … other than the voluntary union of one man and one woman may be contracted or legally recognised in Jamaica.

Thanks to our intervention, provisions relating to religious liberties have also been included at Section 17, basically repeating provisions of Section 21 of the past document.

Why did the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship intervene in the passage of the charter? In brief, we saw a document whose philosophy was the supreme autonomy of the individual. The philosophical flaw in the document then, and still is so in the current document, but to a lesser extent, is a failure to face the fact that we are all selfish by nature and that, further, we live in a community where, like it or not, our private actions do impact the life of the community. Frankly, some of us are concerned that the concept of human rights is being used to erase the distinction between right and wrong, and that human rights, in itself, have now become the new religious dogma.

After examining the document, we became very concerned about the destination of the proposed journey. When we intervened in 2006, we realised then that all our laws and any limitations on perceived rights would now be subject to what obtains in a ‘free and democratic society’.

what’s the destination?

The concept of us as a nation setting out on a journey in the pursuit of freedom and liberty of the individual sounded exhilarating, exciting even, but did we have any idea as to our destination? Is it good governance to lead a nation to a possible and even likely destination without their informed consent? The philosophy of the document, as it was, would certainly have allowed for a striking down of the laws relating to buggery, abortion and obscene publications. Not only that, we were concerned that the robust language of Section 21 of the soon-to-be-replaced Chapter III of the Constitution was not repeated in the proposed document.

Section 21 deals with freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, and preserves a certain amount of autonomy for religious bodies. All that was given was a right to freedom of thought, conscience, belief and observance of religious and political doctrines. Knowing what was happening in so-called free and democratic countries, e.g. Canada, where consistently, the rights of homosexuals trumped rights to conscience, and where it has been declared that women have the right to take the lives of their unborn children, ought we to have sat by just getting on with our daily routine without, at the very least, warning the nation?

We could do no less than sound a warning. This we did, and thankfully, we received a favourable hearing.

It took some courage to be able to include clauses in the current charter which have now saved laws relating to sexual offences, the life of the unborn, and obscene publications, and have preserved our religious liberties. Moreover, as said before, the document now defines marriage in the way that I dare say most Jamaicans now define that institution – being that of one man to one woman.

In this regard, I want to urge our society to give more than lip service to marriage. I want to urge our society to view the institution as an honourable one, one which provides the best environment in which to raise our children.

A mutually faithful heterosexual relationship is not merely one private option among many, but has serious implications for the public good and the health of the nation.

changing laws

Our Parliament is still there to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Jamaica (Section 48). Our judges are there to interpret and apply these laws. If we want laws changed, let us do so upfront, with the full knowledge of the society. Let the Parliament not abdicate its responsibility of making laws.

Having included these sections in the charter, I want to say to the Government that we expect that if at any time there is a court decision which goes contrary to the intentions clearly expressed on behalf of the electorate that you expressed in this charter, that we do expect that you will honour the Jamaican people by taking such legislative action as may be necessary to rectify any faulty wording which may become apparent.

To the charge that the charter ignored the rights of homosexuals, I ask, where do rights originate? And if there is no transcendent moral law, what gives anyone any rights, and what prevents mere power from prevailing? If it is true that repeal of the buggery law will assist with reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, then why is it that the November 2010 edition of Lancet Infectious Diseases reported that “despite an overall decline in HIV incidence in France, transmission seems to be out of control among men who have sex with men?” Lancet is a highly reputable medical publication. Note that buggery was decriminalised in France since the time of the French Revolution in 1791. Other reputable sources (e.g., Eurosurveillance) report similar trends for HIV incidence among MSMs in many developed Western nations.

If the buggery law is repealed, what will prevent our children being taught in school that the homosexual lifestyle is a good and acceptable one?

Let me tell you about the case of Eunice and Owen Johns, a Jamaican couple who currently reside in England. They had fostered children 15 times before. Their application to foster children in 2007 was not approved by the Derby Council because, in answering questions posed by the social worker, they had made it clear that they could not and would not be willing to tell a child that homosexuality is a good thing. The High Court on February 28, 2011, sided with the council. According to the BBC report of the case, the court said that if children were placed with caregivers who objected to homosexuality, “there may well be a conflict with the local authority’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of looked-after children”.

Basically, what that decision meant is that objection to homosexuality is not in the interest of the welfare of children. To put it another way, if you do not agree with homosexual conduct, you cannot foster children in the UK! Out goes many Christian-minded people and also many Jamaican couples living in the UK! Talk about discrimination! If objection to the homosexual lifestyle makes you an unsafe parent, how long will it be before one’s natural children are removed by the State for their ‘safety’?

rejoice only briefly

To those persons who are like-minded – especially to the churchfolk – don’t get lost in your rejoicing. Let your rejoicing be brief, for the battle has only just begun. Now as never before in our history, churches are going to have to unite to fight a common battle. Weapons will have to be carefully chosen. This battle is not one to be fought with weapons of war as in the Middle East. Instead, we will have to fight back cultural imperialism with a moral revolution!

And so I call for a moral revolution in this country; one in which we live right; one in which we speak the truth without having to be pressured at commissions of enquiry; one in which we can dialogue and cross-examine without being crass; one in which we choose to have our children within the context of stable marital unions; a society in which fathers support their children; a society in which we value our children from conception; one in which we support our mothers; one in which we jealously value and cultivate the healthy and mutually faithful man-woman relationship; and a society in which we eschew the use of violence as a means of solving our problems.

I have borrowed a thought from the words of Norman Manley uttered in Parliament on the occasion of the coming into force of the 1962 Constitution. This is the paraphrase:

Let no one imagine that we have secured our future forever. It is only the spirit and vigilance of the people which will preserve those good things that are in the Charter of Rights.

The more things change the more they stay the same ….. JFLAG’s prescriptive culture still exists

Well at last nights weekly Wednesday Open Mic Open Soul at the Couture Oasis Lounge the unexpected occurred when representatives of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays showed up to include later the Executive Director himself none other than the brown Teddy Bear Mr. Dane Lewis. Unfortunately he didn’t hang around long enough to tackle the topic of the night which was “Sexuality” also present were the heads of fellow bloggers Pink Report whose on again off again relationship with and defense of criticisms towards JFLAG has made them unpredictable and inconsistent with their real positions on lgbt issues and advocacy although the last few posts calling the J to book on their handling of the Charter of Rights added to the lack of forumatic activity to guide the lgbt body politic was refreshing.

Speaking of forumatic activity that was precisely the issue in the long run when the young in age and in the job Programs Manager made a short well worded presentation on what the J does and the Charter of Rights etc. It soon became clear he wasn’t going to have an easy ride for the rest of the discussion as members of the audience excluding myself at first were uncomfortable with the tone the conversation was taking, the premise as he (we will call him J for purposes of this post) he mentioned that JFLAG was about lobbying for the lgbt community to among other things remove the Buggery Law however when he was challenged if the organization sought to canvass the community on what our thoughts are? He attempted to repeat the position when the contradictions and rebuttals became more pronounced from an uncomfortable audience, the points were made one by one to include that of the host and Manager of the Couture and myself in reminding the J that they cannot be prescriptive when seeking represent a body of people as complex as ours.

Last nights short exchange proved yet again that the culture within the JFLAG entity is still corporatist, elitist and unengaging as on the face of it they seem to accord to themselves the role of masters of all things lgbt and other ideas cannot work.

When are we going to have real engaging advocacy that is not hold up on intellectual masturbation and programmatic fluff?

When are we going to have real exchanges that produce results instead of everyone trying to compete with everyone else?

Indeed JFLAG the more things change the more they stay the same, I was particularly pleased that persons who were not so exposed to advocacy were vigilant during the exercise and asked very relevant questions especially pertaining to the Buggery Law. Also of great interest were the points argued by the two heterosexual males present who agreed that even if the Buggery Law was passed anytime soon they fear there may be a fall out with disastrous results. A point of contention for me is why are we waisting time pushing for the Buggery Law’s removal when homosexuality itself is not illegal in Jamaica and most cases of Buggery that go to full trial are ones of same-sex paedophilia which is shunned by the most Jamaicans but consenting adult men are grouped in the disgust unfortunately.

Representative J from the J reiterated the position of consenting adults and the law should be out of person’s bedrooms, which to me was just a convenient answer to get away from the probing he was subjected to.

To The Executive Director of the J Dane Lewis, why did you leave poor Representative J to face the music? knowing fully well the audience consisted of erudite minds with serious concerns about JFLAG’s tenure these many a year, don’t send or leave someone inexperienced to do a mammoth job because you wanted to avoid the cross examination.

The kind of exclusivity and elitist approach is in and of itself an egregious form of discrimination committed on sections of the very people the J says it represents not to mention the other phobias by default committed due to the invisibility supported by them (bisexuality and transgendered) and we can again possibly conclude that the movement is more about Press, PR and making the right gestures to look good to the outside world and selected friends here but screw everyone else. Jobs for life at the expense of an ever more widening marginalized people?

Tolerance or Acquiescence? an embarrassing question we have to ask of the advocates.

They have alot of work to do to convince a more cynical lgbt community in becoming a part of their idea of change. On one hand it was not surprising but on the other one always gives the benefit of the doubt and hopes that good sense will finally come to the entity after all it’s all of us who will benefit in the end.

Their very own mission towards forumatic activity to education speaks for itself:

Education

Our Education Programme strives to disseminate information regarding J-FLAG’s existence and purpose, and issues affecting sexual minorities and their impact on society at large. We also attempt to promote self-awareness and self-empowerment within our community. We use a variety of formats to achieve these goals including;

  • Various publications such as informational brochures; SOH!, our quarterly newsletter; our website; editorial letters; and press releases
  • Email announcements and updates to local and international organisations
  • Interviews in newspaper, radio and television media
  • Discussions on our Hotline and chat room
  • Presentations to target groups
  • Face-to-face discussion forums on special topics
  • Display booths at public events
  • Research assistance through our library and media watch archive

The rest of the evening went well as the matter of whether one can make someone gay or “bruk’ them was examined in layman’s terms we arrived at the conclusion among others that sexual acts alone even if they are same gendered doesn’t prove or show sexual orientation.

Peace and tolerance

H