Astounding how much press attention resulted from that one question asked by journalist Dionne Jackson-Miller at the national debate, but not really surprising given the controversy over Jamaica’s buggery law. What might be surprising is the reaction of the public, which shows the country softening or becoming more pragmatic on the issue.
Significantly, Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller had replied that she would include people in her Cabinet based on skill not sexual orientation; and that if elected the PNP would review the law. Prime Minister Andrew Holness was non-committal but conceded Jamaica needs to improve its human rights.
1. Many Jamaicans seem to be saying ‘it’s not my cup of tea but neither is it any of my business.’ Have to agree.
2. The moral stance taken by the church can seem a bit empty when moral values in Jamaica are otherwise a bit sketchy in places.
3. However, decision-makers must respect that the majority view is against changing the law.
4. The international community might like to remember also that Jamaicans have not always been treated with tolerance in their own countries.
5. Jamaica has a human rights problem, period.
6. The issue far overshadows that of the sexual abuse of women and children. That needs to change.
7. It costs Jamaica internationally in reputation and likely $ terms. Our major aid donors have helpfully hinted as much.
8. The issue helps maintain a negative stereotype of Jamaica, a culture which is actually far more complex and tolerant. Also, dancehall culture is kind of camp.
9. Prohibition cannot prevent human desire. And then there’s all the issues that come with driving something underground.
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