Jamaica might get anti-discrimination law

Mark Golding, Jamaica's minister of justice

Mark Golding, Jamaica’s minister of justice (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Information Service)

Mark Golding, Jamaica’s Minister of Justice, today hinted that general anti-discrimination legislation may soon be introduced.

His comments came in response to a critical report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which addressed human rights abuses against LGBTs in Jamaica.

The Civil Service Staff Orders of 2004 (which have the force of law) already protect Jamaican civil servants from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

A general anti-discrimination law would simply extend this protection to all Jamaicans.

However, there will likely be strong opposition from the powerful and influential religious fundamentalists who effectively blocked broad anti-discrimination language from being included in the 2011 revision to Jamaica’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

Golding did not address the country’s buggery laws, which provide for prison sentences of up to 10 years for male homosexual activity.

For more information, see the article “Specific laws needed to target discrimination – Golding” in RJR News online.

About Maurice Tomlinson

Maurice Tomlinson is Legal Advisor, Marginalized Groups for the international advocacy organization AIDS-Free World. He is the inaugural winner of the David Kato Vision and Voice Award and has been involved in HIV and AIDS and LGBTI activism in the Caribbean for over 12 years. An attorney-at-law, he is leading and supporting legal challenges to repeal anti-sodomy and homophobic laws around the Caribbean.
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4 Responses to Jamaica might get anti-discrimination law

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