Though it took so long (14 years) for the J to finally arrive at a middle ground of an amendment instead of a full repeal; I thought that most parties including antigay groups would have seen the light but we now live otherwise. Referenda can become very political and I still think that such a sensitive issue as buggery can be used to sure up political capital for especially now, a one seat majority minority government. Bear in mind the Buggery Law amendment does not need a referendum to be adjusted as it is a provision in the Offences Against the Person’s Act; just a simple move via a joint select committee or two thirds in the Senate or ordinary legislation and voila it’s a done deal. Although previous Justice Ministers such as Dorothy Lightbourne also knew this but when engaged there is a similar coded response; going from memory one of the meetings JFLAG had participated in; she tried to deflect the push from us then to the judiciary claiming her personal opinion is that is where such agitation would be best suited; in other words her administration would not touch the provisions not even with a long stick. I was livid that afternoon when we left her offices, realising how stupid some politicians take us for.
Speaking on Newstalk 93FM’s Freshstart Program hosted by JLP affiliated Sharon Hay Webster whose position is a referendum as suggested by her party , opposition spokesperson on Justice Mark Golding said on the CCJ and the constitution among other things the following:
Wonderful, nice sounding Mr Golding but similar to the hypocrisy by former PNP party leader and the longest serving Prime Minister Percival James Patterson aka PJ who did not find it necessary to act as head of government despite the nation’s perceived notion of him being gay; he played on the nation’s homo-negative stance to effectively win the 2002/3 elections and campaigns by denying such claims of him being gay and adopting a murder music track in the form of T.O.K’s “Chi Chi Man” song to sway voter apathy in the election campaign. Years later he was found calling for tolerance when his own actions as leader help to entrench the very homophobic positions; this without any acknowledgement or apology for same.
If Mr Golding felt so strongly on the issue and it was and is a more sensible one and if it requires bravery to act on same as in his own words then why didn’t or couldn’t he have stepped out in said bravery and go even against his own party’s position? Hiding behind personal positions versus party imperatives smacks of a kind of hypocrisy that just rubs me the wrong way, so politics for all intents and purposes is just for show and survival at any cost; even compromising principles and beliefs for the party’s sake.
Principle here anyone?
I guess no politician is going to go out on a limb on principle, a teaching moment is the young Raymond Pryce and where is he now despite he moved the marijuana thrust/bill as a back bencher of sorts.
Winning elections and having the party in good sted in the eyes of the public is far more important as was nicely displayed by the same Justice spokesman when he was Minister at the periodic review in 2015. Political parties and indeed administrations are just too afraid to touch Buggery; it is too radioactive a matter. Governments do not want to be blamed as freeing up the faggots as it were as they may never see power again; in the competitive political climate as well opposition parties would relish such a downfall and eagerly remind the public of same while encouraging the electorate not to support such parties who are pro-gay. I recall the near miss troubles for the PNP after the 2011 win where they found themselves in public relations nightmare being accused of getting gay money for their campaign, an accusation they vigorously opposed.
As we wait for the decision by the new JLP administration on whether they will act on the referendum antigay groups have been jostling for the PM’s attention claiming they want discussions on ‘protecting the family’ while on the face of it. The newly sworn in Justice Minister Delroy Chuck’s call for cases over five years in court must be ended in some way I have agree with Mark Golding’s position that the courts effectively must be allowed to act along the lines of each case on their own merit and such a call for the ending of matters of certain years could be construed as an interference on the judicial systems. The executive must be independent in as far as actual adjudication of cases; my contention however in that discourse is that said cases languishing also include Buggery matters involving consenting adults. I know of three such cases that are ongoing for some three years plus and where similar to my 1996 Buggery matter which lasted for three years and eight months before a sine die adjournment arresting officers simply disappear or stop attending mention dates, despite subpoenas from the court.
There are hardly any punitive measures for such officers it seems who in effect are wasting the court’s time having us return to either preliminary hearings or actual trial even as strong evidence such as intimate sample reports sealing the accused doom as to actual penetrative sex. Maybe what should happen is the tightening of the systems, more funding for court houses, support staff and systems for judges as in 21st century Jamaica some judges are still taking notes long hand as I saw in the Half Way Tree Court recently. I was shocked even though I am used to it from my case and observing other cases.
I wonder if Mark Golding will continue to public state his personal position on Buggery and fuse it into his opposition role even the referendum is eminent. If not then even through to ministerial role if they come back to power and no change in the law has occurred.
The struggle goes on.
Peace & tolerance
PM scolds gay-rights protesters in New York ........ challenges truthfulness of Homophobic Claim
Justice Minister reiterates his personal position on the Buggery Law, Anal Intercourse, Consent & Privacy
Portia Simpson - 'Uncouth behaviour of others to make me look less than polished'
When did anyone ask for gay marriage rights in Jamaica when we can't get basic tolerance ....
Opposition Leader sides with antigay groups on Referendum on The Buggery Law 2014 prior to the JLP gaining state power