Justice Minister Delroy Chuck speaking on radio yesterday August 11, 2016 said among other things that the ruling could be a game changer in the Caribbean and if such changes occur in our courts the country should respect such rulings from the courts.
“You will admit this is a sensitive matter that the churches and other levels of civil society, they are in dispute as to whether or not the buggery law should be removed; maybe even the parliament of Jamaica is very sensitive about whether or not it can be removed because of the sentiments and feelings across most of Jamaica but that ruling will have a game changing effect on similar laws across the Caribbean.”
The minister added that if a similar or adverse ruling the nation must respect the court’s ruling until a higher court be it the court of appeal, the Privy Council or the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ rules on the matter.
“We promote respect for the rule of law but until the law is changed then we must respect whatever laws exist, as far as I know law is a changing dynamic concept and therefore the buggery law is undoubtedly will be examined and as in Belize there may be changes in the rest of the Caribbean.”
Previous Justice Ministers such as Mark Golding Chuck’s immediate predecessor in his public private flip flop principled conundrum had said as a matter of personal opinion the law should go but he was not prepared to merge those opinions and principles in action or duty in simply doing the right thing in amending the antiquated 483 year old law. He was quite prepared to make known his position but by the time he got to the periodic review on Jamaica at the UN he played the usual refusal card and then turned around and slapped all in the face in parliament by declaring the Buggery Law will not change. Not to be forgotten is the CCJ and buggery law baiting deception he committed at a town hall meeting in 2015.
Mr Chuck’s cadence of speech was very sedated than before in his tenure as Justice Minister especially when it came to the matter of buggery, the stridency seems tempered than that of times before. Other antigay religious fanatics want to now bypass the court systems as they now realise that they may have a major obstacle of principle to contend with in their efforts to have the law unchanged locally by way of either influence by the Belizean ruling and or precedent set (pending review of the written judgement). Defence council Bert Samuels had said on the afternoon of the judgement that among other things that the said British are now trying to impose their adjusted moral position on buggery on Jamaica and that we must dance to it, he was speaking in the context of the foreign observers at the trial who commented that the law should go as the Brits have long recognised the law’s irrelevance and have removed it; clearly Mr Samuels is showing his hand here but it was not surprising to some.
Mr Samuels also said:
“The Belize decision is not binding on Jamaican courts, you’ll have to examine whether the laws of Belize is similarly worded as the laws in Jamaica and whether the constitutional provisions are similarly worded for us to able to say that a court would be deeply persuaded by the decision. That’s my lawyers’ perspective.”
Also commenting in that conversation was Westin James from Trinidad a lawyer who represented Caleb Orozco, he said among other things that the ruling was recognition of human rights, he disagreed with Samuels and anti gay voice and past president of the old Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, LCF Shirley Richards that the ruling would be adverse to freedom of speech and the usual victimhood cry by churches specific to the overall discourse of homosexuality. He was clear that the law only spoke to consenting adults in private and that the issue is not over as an appeal by some of the church groups involved is coming.
“No I am sorry, can I say something, that was never part of this case, no one has ever even argued that it will be lawful for anyone to have sex with a minor or with animals, the court made it clear that it is not about that and nor did anyone raise that argument.”
It is indeed sad that these moralists would go to great lengths even intellectually deceptive ones just to win over gullible folks who fall for such in support of the retention of the buggery law. Let us see where this goes, how opportune the timing as well of the legal and credibility challenges for one of the oldest antigay voices in as far as men of the cloth that being Reverend Al Miller. His missing from the present issues is advantageous in my view; Miller has been a source of grief with respect to LGBT rights work from as far back as the early days of the charter of rights bill debate where he was toe to toe in support with the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and its then president Shirley Richards. His use of his Word power show on television is not to be left out of the mix as he uses that platform to effectively preached homophobia. Yet Reverend Miller seems to now expect the nation to simply forget his involvement in aiding a fugitive to escape the law of the land and has been defiant in doing so when challenged as to the principle of it whilst using the victimhood ploy to say he is a victim of the law.
If he was so concerned about aiding Christopher Dudus Coke then why not take him to the police commissioner’s office if he and Coke were unsure of the actions by the local cops. Instead Miller took Coke or attempted to take Coke to the US embassy but was intercepted.