Knowing fully well that the constitution presently protects that institution and its definition and that it cannot be simply changed by the courts as was amended in the United States Supreme Court ruling and also knowing anti gay groups would be in the audience he said in part:
"The family as we know it is under threat but do not be afraid; continue to stand for what you believe in; trust the people keep them informed, this is a democratic society.
Ultimately it is the people who will decide what they want their families to be."
He continued telling Christians that he stands in support of them in maintaining the biblical principle of marriage and the family.
"I will not spend anytime to give a definition of the family, I don't need to; we read from the same book of basic instruction before leaving earth; we understand it Bishop, we understand it the same way how you see it and understand it is how I see it and understand it."
"I like the teachings of the holy book in this regard; I teach my children the way; my understanding of the Bible as taught to me by my parents."
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller also spoke at the event and basically tried to appeal to the audience indirectly at least in my view. She called for families to unite across the country to unite for a better Jamaica. Obviously she couldn't dare suggest otherwise in that space thus proving again to me political cowardice; especially on the perceived promise or suggestion of a buggery review that has not materialized she has to walk between the raindrops.
As part of an old podcast on hypocrisies from Jamaican politicians on homosexuality in 2009 I had commented that opposition parties when not in power tend to side on with ruling governments when it suits them let us not forget that the same Portia Simpson Miller led party sided with the then Jamaica Labour Party administration (Andrew Holness as deputy leader) headed by Bruce Golding during the Charter of Rights debate when the invented gay marriage debate was used to deny the inclusion of discrimination linked to sexual orientation in the document Portia then on her feet in the house said:
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 ..........."
Holness had effectively promised that a referendum would be in the works if the Jamaica Labour Party, JLP wins the next election, so obviously this latest exploitation by him is a shopping exercise for votes pandering to the religious right. He echoes the sentiments expressed by persons such as Betty Ann Blaine or Dr Wayne West of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS.
Section 4 of the Jamaican Marriage Act, clearly states that one of the grounds on which a marriage may be pronounced void is that "the parties to the marriage were, at the time of the marriage, of the same sex". This section has served to define marriage as being "essentially a relationship between a man and a woman" there are 15 countries which now recognise same-sex marriage to varying degrees and have, therefore, redefined marriage. In Canada, for example, where marriage was once defined as being between one woman and one man, it now means "the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others".
Although the decision will ultimately be made in the legislature, the debate about same-sex marriage transcends the law. It is a political, moral, social and religious issue. In Jamaica, where there is continued resistance to the repeal of buggery laws, the questions surrounding the gradual recognition of civil partnership have not even been posed in any serious manner as a starter. The UK did not get to full marriage equality in one swoop they started off with civil unions first then developed. Similarly while in 1967 the sexual offences bill there was amended to decriminalize buggery it took some time after to bring age of consent equality after some pressure from groups and individuals such as Peter Tatchell.
It must be accepted that society will always continue to change. Whether we reform our laws in recognition of those changes or resist the changes and hold true to moral precepts, will be central to this debate with truth as the core from all angles, the main reason why we face so much opposition and seeming inability to change hearts and minds is a strong lack of credibility. A feeling of bullying still pervades the debate and deep mistrust on all sides.
Meanwhile in December 2015:
Jamaican law defines marriage as being a legal union between a man and a woman.
However, with changes being made to that definition in other jurisdictions to allow for same sex marriage, Senator Golding indicates similar moves are not being contemplated for Jamaica.
“I don’t think that will change in the foreseeable future.,” Golding said.
Golding was speaking at a recently held Molynes Garden Citizens Association town hall meeting in St Andrew.
The Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Central constituency, Dr Peter Phillips, who was also speaking at the town hall meeting, says while he strongly supports the continuation of marriage in Jamaica between a man and a woman, the decay of the family structure is a more urgent cause for concern.
He said family life in Jamaica is facing a crisis which must be arrested as part of the development of the country.
“We are not having settled families, 89 percent of births in Jamaica are to a single parent – that is the big crisis that we face,”
Heterosexuals need to take the blame for the so called ruin of the family just take a look at marriage/divorce rates:
Peace & tolerance
Nicholson says JLP 'crazy' for wanting referendum on buggery law .... oh boi
Tufton on Same Sex Marriages & Growing Up ..... Charles panders to antigay position
When did anyone ask for gay marriage rights in Jamaica when we can't get basic tolerance 2014.
Anglican Church in the Caribbean: No to Same Sex Marriages
Opposition sides with Govt on No to same sex marriage (PNP prior to the 2011 elections win)
Gay Marriage - An Invented Issue by the christian right movement
Jamaica Council of Churches still not clear on the buggery law but resolute in opposing gay marriage
Promoting homosexuality? No, its about freedom of choice, privacy & tolerance
BUY NO RINGS, YOU WON’T WED; RELIGIOUS FEAR-MONGERING ON GAY MARRIAGE & THE BUGGERY LAW CONTINUES