No official recommendation of request have come forth from any group or organization in LGBT history of advocacy in Jamaica when we can't just get passed common sense reasoning on homosexuality and buggery often conflated with paedophilia. Private persons may want to be able to marry for purposes of state recognition and so on but that is worlds apart from having an official goal as added to decriminalizing or repealing buggery.
Jamaica Council of Churches still not clear on the buggery law but resolute in opposing gay marriage
Now comes today's Gleaner headline as captioned above in the frontpage photo:
Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer wrote:
The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas will not be allowing gay marriage in its churches in the region, neither will any of its ministers be allowed to conduct same-sex weddings.
The position of this grouping of churches was stated as it ended its six-day Connexional Conference in Montego Bay, St James, on Monday.
"We have some special instructions, which will prohibit any contractual covenant or marriage between the same gender on any of our properties. We are also indicating that we are prohibiting our ministers - and all those who do marriages in our name - from performing any such ceremonies," declared the Reverend Otto Wade, Connexional president of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas.
"We have some persons who are marriage officers, and the stance we are taking is that there will be no homosexual-type unions that will be sanctioned by our church. So we are very clear as to what we will not allow," Wade said.
It is possibly the first time that a church group in the region has publicly stated its objection to marrying gay couples. In countries such as the United States, where some churches have refused to perform these marriages, a number of homosexuals have resorted to lawsuits to force the churches to marry them.
The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas also used its conference to denounce homosexuality as ungodly; however, at the same time, it recommended tolerance towards homosexuals.
"The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas affirms that the bond in marriage - the intimacy and procreation - is a gift from God and that the act of persons from the same sex, especially engaging in a sexual relationship, cannot be approved of God from scriptures, neither can it be approved by us as a church," Wade said.
The Connexional Conference brought together ministers from the eight Caribbean districts along with ministers from Guyana, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, and Honduras, which constitute the Americas. Their mandate is to make decisions for and on behalf of the Methodist Church in the region.
In declaring the church's objection to homosexuality, Wade affirmed the church's stance in defence of the biblical union of man and woman, while rejecting homosexuality as a sin that is disruptive to human existence and normal society. In explaining further, he said that a man and a woman in a sexual relationship look towards procreation, but the homosexual act negates that.
"So we have to ask the question: If all persons started living woman to woman and man with man, where would humanity be?" asked the churchman.
He went on to state that in a matter of days, the church would be issuing a full statement on gambling and homosexuality.
However, while noting that the church condemns the act of homosexuality as sin, Wade is calling for tolerance towards "the sinner, who can be redeemed".
"What we are saying is that we would never condone the sin, but we have to respect and appreciate the sinner," said Wade. "Therefore, the church, in its statement, will be indicating that we condemn any kind of homophobic violence or any other things that are visited on homosexuals."
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UPDATE June 8 2014
Methodist radio talkshow host and playwright weighed in on the matter via the Observer
No same-sex marriages, please
HEAR ye, hear ye! Let it be known far and wide. There shall be no same-sex marriage in the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. So it was declared at their recently Connexional Conference held in Montego Bay. The Church has spoken. The decision is non-negotiable. No minister of their faith will perform any same-gender rituals.
Same-sex marriages are the topic of the day in the USA from which we take our directions -- not that anyone asks us to. It is just that we like controversy, which has become our way of life. It should be noted that even in the land of civil liberty, no one can force a church to do what is against its beliefs. The Methodists have spoken in full confidence in the strength of their decisions. Will other denominations follow? It remains to be seen.
There will be other questions to answer. What about tourism? The response: What about it? Ask again: Suppose any of them want to come here to get married? The answer: It would be a brave marriage officer who would take that on...It would have to be outside the church which has no jurisdiction over them. Marriage officers are not necessarily church personnel. They are licensed by the State, as are ministers of the Church. Questions and more questions lie ahead.
Right now, homosexuality and the attendant lifestyle have become a fixation with some people. What do you think is at the base of all the hullabaloo about free speech and taped mouths? Some have asked why is the Church, of varying denominations, so concerned with the topic when there are other life and death challenges in the community? Isn't it time we got back to "feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless?" As to the big one, "love thy neighbour". Is that forgotten because we don't approve of his lifestyle?
The Methodists expect scrutiny but they are undaunted. A leader to whom I spoke yesterday sees homosexuality as a moral issue which the Church cannot and will not turn away from, whatever some people may think. Some criticism is expected, but whatever it is, the Church says it will not give up.