See more here: Jamaican gay group calls on Caricom to end anti-buggery laws and also the full statement on GLBTQJA's wordpress edition.
The responses are already pouring in on various social networks especially facebook on a particular Jamaican News page named On the Ground News. The activity there has been tense but the Go Jamaica edition of the story does not show comments openly, I guess they are cognisant of the firestorm a story like this always invites. The usual colourful expletives and calling for deaths to gays was present mixed with biblical literalism and quotes sometimes all in one sentence.
Frankly this action by the J seems a knee jerk reaction to many things including cynicism from sections of the gay community towards their own slow work over the long years, to simply get up now to demand for CARICOM to repeal the buggery laws is not a smart move in my view but who am I to say as folks like me don't know anything in the opinion of some.
With Prime Minister Bruce Golding taking over leadership of CARICOM during the proceedings and his very public positions on homosexuality was it a good move now J? Let us also not forget the invented gay marriage discussion which he used along with the Lawyer's Christian Fellowship to crush the draft clauses of sexual orientation discrimination which were removed from the Charter of Rights Bill during it's long journey to passage. I am concerned that with the present move towards imposing a morality agenda we need to be careful we don't see any retaliatory moves to further crush the gay rights movement by suddenly updating these old buggery laws as is happening with other various pieces of less older legislation in the name of fixing Jamaica such as the Bail Act in the recently passed controversial crime bills.
The PM had also mentioned that laws needed to be amended to reflect the new times during the crime bills debate, interestingly it's the same reasoning the gay rights movement has used over the life of the struggle to ask for the repealing the buggery laws yet it was ignored. The Jamaica Labour Party, JLP presently is in a political pickle following the most recent set of events and they may just use this gay rights issue again to their advantage as they know very well the parliamentary opposition enjoys a high lgbt support even though they do not support gay rights openly either, a convenient political gift that can be drawn on anytime given the public sentiments. Mr. Golding has proven he is a politically shrewd and cunning animal contrary to popular perceptions of his clumsiness he is very much adepth at using strategies to his advantage.
Here some of the comments (names removed) from On The Ground News from facebook, it's an open page so you will see it. WARNING !!!! - STRONG LANGUAGE. A few of the more tersely worded ones were flagged by some members so those have been removed.
"Straight up, Jamaica getting too Americanized. Homosexuality was always considered in my teachings as against the book of life" No Man or Woman can change this noble teachings or take it away from me. I grow my kids on these same teachings that were carried down through ancestry. I know also that it existed in everyone life teachings also. I ... personally wish not death on anyone but will not welcome any of these individuals in my immediate surroundings. I was taught that was a sin and curse. I find it very humorous that when someone researches and quotes the Bible to show that this types of diseases are not to be allowed and are against laws that existed in biblical times How could you ever think about contradicting the book of God"
"Nothing to get Jamaicans excited like homosexuality..."
"yuh need fi guh bathe!!1 evrytime a battyman related news post come out yuh quick fi respond!!! a wah suh??!! yuh waan look like yuh nuh inna dem thing deh wen yuh probly a hide and a dweet!!!
As fi di rest a unnu weh nuh knw weh unnu family or man/woman a duh wen dem nuh round unnu shut d raas up!!! nuff a unnu av this preconceived notion dat gays act a feminine but i'll av unnu knw seh alot of these all macho men dat a batty a dem callin but dem jus affi use woman as sham!!!"
"well they exist freely, but we will not be legalising gay marriage anytime soon. Marriage must be between a man and a woman. Bruce, this is the only thing i agree with u on."
"Funny how everyone is passionately against crime and murders in this country and yet the overwhelming sentiment coming from the comments on this article is that "battyman fi dead".
"Jamaica will never get any better until we recognize the value of ALL human life. Including the lives of those you may not necessarily like.
Respect life. One love."
"Only in mobay dem can bright enough fi try that"
"These comments are shocking, considering you are talking about a basic human rights issue."
"somebody cah line dem up an shoot dem one by one..hisst....they are nothing but a big disgrace to mankind...."
"Battyman fi get eliminate!"
"why don't they Kill Jason Mcfarlene?"
"imagine, yesterday was gay pride parade here in Toronto and if that wasn't enough, now this?! This werl is getting battyer and batty-er everyday"
"dem pussyclaat battybwoy an lesbians deh need fi stay in dem rass closet wid dem nastiness an stop further tarnish the image of JA, and the entertainers need to stop make mention of them in their songs bcuz it just mek dem feel big. "PUSSY FI LIFE" MI LOVE MI WOMAN DEM"
"Please read unno Bible God says clearly in His word that if a man lay with man as he would a woman he is an abomination and he should die!!!!! So when we sey BULLET a sumtin whey written in God word backside God himself sey so!!!!! Please God mek man fi woman and woman fi man!! Stop chat foolishness a ppl ears bout Christ like God sey stone dem and... dem family to death!!!
What black ppl fail to ova stand is that a lot of our pratices are biblical principles from the old testament days! And please don't tell me that was the old testament because the New Testament is the Old testament revealed. In Romans 1 verse 27-32 it clearly sates that if we condone these nasty acts even if we dont do it God will hold us accountable and we will get same punishment like the one who practise these acts!!! So nuh bodda come talk when unno clearly not reading unno Bible!!! Batty bwoy n lesbian fi get FIRE N BRIMESTONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BIBLE SEY DAT GO TEK IT UP WID JESUS!!! Kiss mi teeth fi unno big head bud"
"the wages of sin is still DEATH!!! Not Life!!!! Romans 1 verse 20-32. Jamaica is a christain country and even though we are disobedient like everybody else certain sin should not be named among us as a ppl plus even gone so far fi reach parliament!!! We taking up the American mentality freedom of everything not so in God world He still run things and if He said NO is NO!!!!! Batty mek fi shit come out of fi clean yu out it's not and Entrance ppl it's and Exit door!!!!"
"Why was the anti-buggery Act relevant 30/40years ago and not today.Did some bright new light shine recently.Is it that we are smarter than our fore-parents?
Anyway the Act has attached to it bestiality ,so if a man choose to promote homosexuality then he must be equally vocal about promoting bestiality or else shut up!!!!!!!!!!"
"again my youth or girl nasty is nasty, right is right and wrong is wrong!! The thought alone is disgusting so please dont come tell me to relax...if you have child go mek a man push him big wood inna yu youth ass then talk or mek yu daughter come tell yu sey love woman...nasty.
yu too relax dats y yu love the idea so....again like we say in Kingston n mi don Buju sey BATTY BOY FI DEAD!!! All day everyday."
"When was wrong in Roman and Greek times is still wrong now...."
"And this way of thinking of homosexuality has been drilled in our culture donkey yrs now a no jus wah day! A lot of Jamaicans have picked up the mentality of other countries, b/c nuff Jamaicans like to be led and follow fashin. BUT not cause it wrong mean wi fi put a noose rounf dem neck, we are not God... Life and death is in the tongue, if u speak of it, u are capable of committing the act! Let's educate ourselves man, Support OPEN ARMS FOR JAMAICA'S FUTURE..oonuh ask mi how! Find someting useful fi do!"
"...politicians, unnu fav. artiste, skool boyz, doctor, lawyer, thief gunman. all them ppl yah can be battyman(well most of them r). NOT to mention the dancer dem weh fi continue to look fly dem make dem batty spacings loose suh if most a iunnu knw d thingz dem unnu wld a shut up!!! bczu unnu probly av family weh a dat but love them up still but a chat...bout kill other ppl!!!!!
Ppl need to knw hw to leave ppl bizniz alone and mind their own!!! some a unnu bizniz if it fi come out wouldda worst than unnu being homosexual!!!!
If unnu dont like homosexuals stop paying dem mind bcuz a dat them want unnu fi duh!!!! give dem unnu attention!!!"
"I wouldnt want anybody who condones homosexuality on any level praying for me. First of all who are you praying to? Who is your God and what is his/her name? I am JESUS only.
Pray for yourself that your eyes may be opened to see and receive the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ not this new age wash down gospel that is being preached today!!!! Old time Christain thing wrong is wrong...."
"Putting aside the biblical aspects for a moment, buggery is against the law, and if caught, your ass should be punished (literally). Now I don't believe anyone should assault you because you're a homosexual, however, given the homophobic climate of JA, don't expect ppl to be quiet about it if you make yourself known to be gay. Don't expect ppl to ... be cool calm and collected when you protest on a public street. You're putting yourself in danger...pure and simple. Furthermore, this thing about if it don't affect or hurt anyone go ahead is bullcrap. Homosexuality is wrong on all fronts, don't business which part it legal now. People need to talk strongly bout it like how dem talk strong bout police killing and dem tings dere. Wrong is wrong, don't matter if we used to it or not."
"Why does everyone choose to be religious when the topic of homosexuality rises?? Hmmm?? Sounds awefully convenient."
"You can protest against gay marriage as marriage is already defined, so that is quite ok... but OMG, you guys are hypocrites, begging and crying about crime rates but yet, wanting to kill gay people... my heart aches for you all...prayer and fasting fi unu"
So it looks like we have gone back some years now with the hornets nest stirred again, a suggestion for the J is to also engage the public in sustained discussion and information on tolerance and lifestyle issues with specific emphasis on the categories of homophobia and why such incidents occur but then again if they can't engage the entire gay community properly how are they going to effectively deal with the homophobes and christian right?
Anyway onward march, let's see where this goes.
Peace and tolerance