Issue: Jamaica's Anti-Buggery Law
I take issue with many of the arguments the writer of The Gleaner editorial titled 'Discrimination against gays: a folly' (July 7, 2011) used to support his or her points.
In the editorial, one paragraph was devoted to showing the increasing popularity of legislation supporting gay unions in the United States. In citing a trend in the US, the writers of the editorial are employing bandwagon appeal to try to convince Jamaicans that it is okay to legalise homosexual unions and tolerate homosexual lifestyles. Such careless writing belongs in vacuous fashion magazines, not in a national newspaper, and certainly not on the editorial page.
The editorial's next argument is an economic one: being tolerant of gays and having gay-friendly laws would make Jamaica a more attractive tourist destination, thereby generating more revenue for the island. The formidable purchasing power of homosexuals is mentioned, and a feeble argument about childless gay couples having greater inclination and more means to contribute to the tourism industry is thrown in for good measure.
To show you that this argument does not work, I invite you to consider the set of all Americans with net worth in excess of US$1 billion. These people are wealthy beyond words, and travel a lot, so they are perhaps more likely tourists than the average American.
Suppose for some strange reason that these affluent Americans will only consider visiting Jamaica (note the gap between consideration and action) if the Jamaican flag were blue. Should we change our flag in hopes of appeasing this set of rich Americans? Obviously not. This set is relatively small (as is the set of gay Americans who refuse to visit Jamaica) and there is no guarantee that if we changed our flag (policy) they would come rushing to our shores (gap between consideration and action).
What troubles me the most about the argument above, however, is the sinister invitation to become mercenaries, pledging our allegiance to the highest bidder. Financial gain as our sole objective is not the way forward for Jamaica. In fact, it is this very principle, individually applied in our politics, that has authored our failure as an indepen-dent nation thus far.
Whatever decision we as a nation arrive at on this issue must arise from deep introspection and stock-taking, not the lecherous gaze of a money-hungry harlot.
and My two cents on