They claimed that the meaning of the word ‘sex’ at the time was too vague and leaves the issue open to future changes in the affirmative for gay rights and could include the act of buggery and capitalizing on the fear mongering the PNP administration through its then Minister of Justice A. J. Nicholson agreed and also pushed eventually for the removal of the protection. The JLP then also sided with the move and the subsequent Joint Select Committee came back with a set of ridiculous requests to include the cause of homosexuality and other questions. Maybe if we had started with the sensible position of an amendment as was recommended to JFLAG by one of its own attorneys then we could have saved ourselves the grief and delay over the years towards rights and recognition. Gay marriage is out of the question for now as marriage between a man and a woman is deeply entrenched in the constitution and protected from easy amendment or change; not even a high court ruling can move it and will require reform directly from the parliament floor, which I doubt will come in this lifetime. Maybe the younger warriors will have to handle that one.
Why is the JLP oblivious to the amendment suggestion is just so deceiving to me, the law would not go in total but would be specific if properly worded with specifics especially the all important consent versus non consent. As expressed in previous entries political parties fear touching buggery and indeed homosexuality as they ought to be dealt with; open critical and balanced discourse and debate devoid of emotionalism and fear; the ideal for me would be a sensible debate in parliament looking at all the issues that attend including the proving of buggery, the pseudo scientific conundrums surrounding same and loopholes for corruption by arresting officers with regards to blackmail and extortion.
Speaking at a Jamaica Labour Party mass rally on Sunday February 7, 2016 just before a shooting incident marred proceedings Andrew Holness repeated his call for the referendum and states within 100 days of gaining power if they win they would put on a ballot the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ as our final court and the buggery law for consideration by the nation.
The JLP does not have the kind of support on the ground when compared to the PNP and an ever more cynical uncommitted group including the articulate minority and the polls also seem to verify that so they are grasping at anything they can find. This election seems to be a close one and the results can swing aby way but not with a large margin. In my Line in the sand series I have been wondering which way to vote and no manifestos have come forth as yet for me to contemplate further. The PNP’s suggestion (promise) on the buggery review has not materialized and they too are dithering on the matter in fear of the religious right folks switching despite the more powerful traditional churches are in their corner; the PNP at prayer, sorry I mean the Jamaica Council of Churches JCC is middle road sounding in terms of homosexuality in general and tolerance to a lesser extent.
The Justice Minister’s Mark Golding flip flopping on the matter has not aided me to decide either on whether to vote PNP or not as his utterances as posted on here on the baiting of the CCJ as our final court on the altar of not over turning the buggery law had me peeved whilst JFLAG chose to have him even after all that as their guest speaker at their 17th anniversary event last year where he gave a glowing supportive speech but is a coward to make the changes required on buggery. In fairness I did carry a post on his personal position on the matter as espoused in a radio interview he did but as we now know the personal and the political are too different things and he is just doing it like a ‘clever’ politician would so as to keep himself and his party afloat safely while avoiding controversial issues.
The leadership debate is being planned and should happen soon we're told either on the 18th, 19th or 20th; the committee on debates is finalizing it with the parties; I imagine given a shortened campaign season and I am expecting the issue to return as it did in the 2007 hustings; it is also a major plank with regards to grant aid and ties to such LGBT considerations for general support for administrations and specific funding as well. I guess young Andrew will repeat the referendum bit as he cannot change from that now seeing he has been consistent. Someone needs to put before him and his team or remind them of the actual thrust nowadays the amendment of the law and NOT a full repeal and then ask why isn’t the JLP embracing such a call? It is of course easier to sell the way it is being done now by Holness and not having to explain the concept while the JLP claims it is concerned about human rights. A referendum without the proper sustained educational activities and indeed townhall meetings and other informational avenues would be a waste of time; I am also thinking that while Jamaicans are homo-negative in one breath they are not stupid and if only engaged properly with the points placed honestly before them they can choose. If the amendment principle properly explained was put before them then a different outcome may obtain than an outright no to buggery repeal.
This is where I had parted company with JFLAG and have done so for many years as they took too long to adjust their call from repeal to amendment (14 years in fact) and then a missing sustained messaging of same is crucial to not only raise credibility but fixity of purpose and a wider reach of the ordinary citizen. Then the true test of the law in the form of Javed Jaghai’s challenge in the same year as the change in position died before our eyes as he subsequently withdrew; I have had discussions for example with total strangers in bars and barbershops on the issue and when I simply break it down for them the clear contemplation is evident via either a verbal response or facial expression; many persons were still on the old message of a full repeal and so their anti gay stance is cemented hence they are implacable. The other side to this referendum business is also that we are not a participatory public on elections, the last time we had any high voter turnout on anything was in the 1980 election where some just over 60% of the voting public came out and the JLP won; voter apathy is high and I am wondering if such a referendum comes forth who will leave home to cast their ballot?
Maybe given the sensitivity involved some may leave out indeed but what about those who are in favour or at a place of tolerance will they come out on that ballot?
Groups such as the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, LCF, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS, Jamaica CAUSE, Lovemarch and others may be itching to cast their ballots for the JLP given the soundings on such matters they like to push for their antigay agenda. The Christian community did vote heavily for the Golding administration prior to Holness’s takeover (hence we have a Seventh Day Adventist Governor General) as they attract more conservative votes. I see for example the out front Dr Wayne West name calling of LGBT folks persists so as to create an ‘other’ then throw discriminatory darts. His recent post was titled ‘Why atheist = dunciehead : A simple explanation - “The fool had said in his heart ; there is no God” …….Psalm 14:1……. Great book that it is the Bible is once again spot on’ he has become most proficient at name calling and belittling when God’s love should expressed via embracing I imagine, not creating outcasts, he too has deceptively conflated a call for an amendment akin to a repeal of buggery while ignoring the all important consent between adults.
What would Jesus do? Never a dull day here eh.
Walk good until next time.
Peace & tolerance
Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson’s call for tolerance not genuine & sheer hypocrisy
Foreign Affairs Minister says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica
J-FLAG now advocating for decriminalisation of same-sex acts
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 . 2011
The Pink Report on JFLAG's handling of the Charter of Rights issue
PNP 2006, No plans to Legalise Same Sex Union (FLASHBACK)