So the suggestion of a conscience vote on the buggery law as espoused by Prime Minister (then opposition leader) in the 2011 leadership debate preceding the last national elections was a dangling carrot for a dumb donkey to follow, many advocates and individuals interpreted Mrs Simpson Miller's pronouncements as a promise or a commitment to repeal or at least look at the archaic buggery law but I and a few others who spoke openly dismissed it all from day one as nothing more than hot air especially soon after in February member of parliament Damian Crawford poured cold water on the suggestion/promise and said it was not a priority as that time. and who seems to always open his mouth these days and revealing his thoughts that sometimes go against the administration's path. I knew from then that as existed before even under the previous PM P. J. Patterson (often thought to be gay by the public) also danced around the issue as this could mean votes and loss of political power. Mrs Simpson Miller in the meantime was awarded a political consultants' democracy medal as their conference concludes in Antigua, more HERE
additional comments via podcast recorded 23 November 2012:
also see the Chairman Bobby Pickersgill on the PNP's stance earlier this year, was this a hint of the change or rescinding of the proposed conscience vote being neatly announced?:
PNP’s Bobby Pickersgill differs on Conscience Vote route to decide on Buggery Law
also recall the press release the PNP penned on Dec 22, 2011:
She said on October 20th 2009 - "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity ………. yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ……….."
"I told you so" comes to mind when stuff like this plays out but I am amazed at how naive sometimes our leading spokespersons seem or is it just to meet public relations requirements and inform public discourse I guess. A report came on yesterday's forum hosted by the Jamaicans for Justice group, unfortunately I missed the radio discourse on Nationwide which I gather was to the point on the matter,
the public forum held on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, to discuss the J'can govt.'s implementation of the 2011 Recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee, the J'can Minister of Justice, Senator the Honourable Mark Golding (photo) announced yet another delay in ending the country's discriminatory laws against same gender loving Jamaicans.
TVJ News carried the Minister's remarks at the JFJ session:
Instead of the Parliamentary Conscience Vote on the archaic anti-sodomy law that the Minister of Information advised would happen before the end of this year, the Justice Minister indicated that there will be a review of the Sexual Offences Act in 2014 to POSSIBLY address the laws which criminalizes private same-gender intimacy.
Legal Advisor to AIDSFREEWORLD Maurice Tomlinson who also has a case with the Caribbean Court of Justice as this progresses said that relying on public disapproval of gays (instead of basic human rights principle requiring protection of sexual minorities against oppressive majority views), the government has taken the cowardly decision to keep delaying the repeal of anti-gay laws.
The Immediate Past Special Rapporteur for the UN Human Rights Committee, Mr. Krister Thelin (third from left), stated clearly that these laws were in violation of Jamaica's international commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Meanwhile the tolerance ad case also brought by Maurice Tomlinson judgement is scheduled for release from the Supreme Court on November 15th.
also see: Caribbean Court of Justice reserves judgement on Maurice Tomlinson case on barred entry due to sexual orientation
I surmise that the change of mind by the present PNP government on the conscience vote is due to to the public's feeling of the Prime Minister's lousiness and non communicative style on matters of national importance added to that are the slow austerity measures being pursued to include job cuts, repeated trips abroad with no serious reporting on developments, the goat island fiasco and silence there as well with the Chinese and so on. This time of year also is not a good time to do any political moves as Jamaicans take their holiday season seriously as a tradition, lest we forget it was the reason why the opposition Jamaica Labour Party lost the election in 2011 when they called it in December a first in our political history. The administration also may fear that a vote in the non-affirmative may lead to undo pressure from more powerful LGBT friendly states such as the US, pressure we do not need at this time and a PNP that wants to return to power and not fall in the trap of being a one term administration as the JLP became.
also see: The Jamaican Government schizophrenic on human rights ?
and hear an interview with IJCHR's head Arlene Harrison Henry:
Not to be outdone is the powerful lobby of the religious movements who have mobilised themselves in recent years and their vote is as real as they come (or go for that matter) also see: Church Stands Resolute Against Buggery Backers says Al Miller ………… Love March Movement Lacks Moral Compass says LGBT voice and as the to and fro continues the groups still believe a false dichotomy that the LGBT lobby is about to silence them, see more HERE and HERE. Plus this older entry: Betty Ann Blaine & foreign religious zealots continue their paranoia & misrepresentations of male homosexuality
So it's official we were duped and it was so neatly done at a JFJ meeting yet JFJ has not said a word just yet, it is not yet known if JFLAG was present at the session either but who cares these days as they have made themselves so lame in the eyes of some local LGBT people. None the less here is there position on the law:
Sad that it has taken JFLAG some 13 1/2 years to accept the lesser of the two options that were available at the time post the parliamentary submission in 1998. Suggestions were made from then that decriminalization was the route to take but their management had other plans and now they are left with no choice, hence my criticism after many suggestions to them that there is too much dithering when it is time act and when they act sometimes they end up shooting themselves in the foot.
Well I am not surprised by Mr Golding's announcement just strange how the PNP administration has now gone the Sexual Offences Bill Route.
Also see these previous posts:
Mark Wignall on Buggery law review promise was a political sham
On Buggery and gays in cabinets with politics ............ some responses ............
The Line in the Sand for the JLP Part 14 ...... but vote ☐ PNP ☐ JLP ☑ Legalize Buggery/Anal Sex in private ........
JFLAG Position Statement on Upcoming Conscience Vote on Jamaica’s Buggery Law earlier released before the change of direction by the PNP.
Peace and tolerance