Yesterday the Editorial of the paper dealt with the matter in a sensible way I think, have a read here:
Bruce Golding may have evolved a bit since he famously rejected the possibility of gays serving "in my Cabinet". But the former prime minister appears to have a problem making up his mind, exemplified in his on-the-one-hand-but-on-the-other-and-perhaps-the-third style of disputation in a recent contribution in this newspaper on the Brendan Bain controversy and gay rights in Jamaica.
Mr Golding wrote: "I am not opposed to the repeal of the buggery provisions in our laws because I don't think that legislation can, or should, try to regulate sexual practices, except in certain circumstances, such as in the protection of children. The State has no business barging into any bedroom to molest homosexuals any more than it would fornicators or adulterers."
That is precisely the position of increasingly large swathes of Jamaicans, including this newspaper, who call for the removal of these anachronistic provisions, which primarily target male homosexuals, assault the dignity of a significant proportion of our population, and cast the Jamaican State as some kind of voyeuristic sexual commissar.
Except that there is no certitude on Mr Golding's part in arriving at a principled position on a discreet issue of the right to privacy, freedom of association, and the preservation of human dignity. So, he searches for entanglements, which he finds in the argument that acceding on a principle, which he accepts is right, might lead to "the battle cry ... to secure same-sex unions and eventually same-sex marriages. And that, Mr Golding believes, would be morally reprehensible, eroding traditional values.
Willing to uphold a wrong
In other words, Mr Golding is willing to uphold a wrong for fear that doing what is right might unleash uncontainable social forces. That, we remind, was the kind of thinking that added to longevity of many moral ills, including slavery and apartheid. But in the contrivance of logic in support of his supposed fear of potentially cascading moral dominoes, the ex-PM may have forgotten the uphill path they would have to take.
For instance, Mr Golding was the leader of government when, after nearly two decades of deliberation, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of Freedoms was passed, amending the Jamaican Constitution. That charter, at Section 18, restricts the recognition of marriage, "or any other relationship of which any rights or obligations similar to those pertaining to marriage are conferred upon persons as they were husband and wife", to being between "one man and one woman".
His wavering notwithstanding, Mr Golding, by his recognition of the banality of the buggery provisions, added an important, if unintended, voice to the absurdity of the maintenance. Maybe at another go, Mr Golding will arrive at a position closer to that of another former Jamaican leader, P.J. Patterson - a serious debate on gay rights in Jamaica, in the absence of hardened positions among the protagonists, "taking into account the prevailing global environment within which we live".
We would wish Mr Patterson to engage the current prime minister and his successor as leader of the People's National Party as she prepares for her promised conscience vote in Parliament on the buggery provisions. Mrs Simpson Miller cares naught for the sexual preferences of the people with whom she works, a position that, hopefully, informs a conversation ahead of the vote.
Here is Mr Golding on his feet in parliament on the invented gay marriage plow to deny rights in the Charter of Rights debate 2009
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 ..........."
also see: Opposition sides with Govt on No to same sex marriage (2009 post when the PNP was in opposition)
I am not going be like some in blind support with partisan reasons and simply sweep aside these statements made in the precincts parliament and even in writing over the signature of key ministers for example in 2006 the then Justice Minister A. J. Nicholson of the PNP spoke to gay marriage and the PNP’s not in agreement for such rights when no such rights were agitated for. It read in part:
No plans to Legalise Same Sex Unions (2006 Official Statement - Attorney General)
"There is no intention whatsoever on the part of the Government or the Joint Select Committee of Parliament that any door should be opened by provisions in the proposed Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or otherwise, to decriminalise homosexuality or to pave the way for same-sex marriages to be accepted as lawful in Jamaica.
In seeking to make submissions to the Joint Select Committee at this eleventh hour, the church representatives and the group of lawyers who complain about certain provisions of the Charter, concerning the protection of the right to privacy, need to be reminded of the history and purport of those provisions as they were developed.
First, those provisions are to the same effect as those that are contained in the recommendations of the Constitutional Commission of the early 1990s, under the chairmanship of Dr. Lloyd Barnett, in their draft Bill on the Charter
Second, the Joint Select Committee that sat for a long time to consider the Charter provisions, in the late 1990s, heard presentations from groups who take a completely opposite view to that taken by the church representatives and group of lawyers. Those entities, including J-FLAG, even though approaching the matter from the base of a different provision in the Bill, were of the view that the Charter should move away from the recommendations of the Constitutional Commission on this score and that there should be no discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.
The Joint Select Committee did not agree that such a recommendation should be made to Parliament since it saw such a measure as opening the door to the legalisation, or at least, the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
So I am not one to simply take her supposed inclusive public relations while there may be some truth to it in terms of gender non conforming persons on the team but the greater imperative of winning elections at the expense of passing on what is right is the nature of politics. MORE HERE
also see some previous related entries:
PNP’s Bobby Pickersgill differs on Conscience Vote route to decide on Buggery Law
PNP's Damion Crawford says it's highly unlikely buggery review will happen ........ it's not important now
PNP Wins ................Hope for LGBT People ??
The Line in The Sand for The JLP part 13 - the ascention but the question:Will Holness be a pro-rights PM?
Foreign Affairs Minister says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica
On Buggery and gays in cabinets with politics ............ some responses ......
Milk River PNP Councillor says no to buggery repeal ..
J-FLAG Disappointed With PM's Unfulfilled Promise, Though She Remains Best Hope
PNP: No election money from gay groups ....
‘Idiot plan that!’ - Many Jamaicans against Buggery Law review .
The Pink Report on JFLAG's handling of the Charter of Rights issue
PNP 2006, No plans to Legalise Same Sex Union (FLASHBACK)
No Same Sex Marriage says Prime Minister in Charter of Rights Bill Debate (Bruce Golding)
Church angry, gays happy PNP on collision course with Christians ………………. but some of us are not impressed
President of the Senate warns against discrimination based on language, sexual orientation
Mark Wignall ....... Gay Lobby will wait in vain
NOT READY FOR GAYS ……. GAY MARRIAGE SMOKE SCREEN REINTRODUCED ……………. POLITICAL DODGING 2011
BUGGERY LAW BACKLASH – BLAIR: THE CHURCH HAS BEEN SLEEPING – BLAIR WARNS REVIEW COULD LEAD TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGES 2011
Peace and tolerance