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U.S. ruling changed Jamaican debates on LGBTI rights

The focus of the debate for LGBTI human rights in Jamaica has changed since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality.  Here are  examples of recent op-eds in the Jamaica Gleaner (three opposed, one in favor), with excerpts:

Disgraced former Jamaican Prime Minster calls the Supreme Court decision undemocratic

Bruce Golding: That US Supreme Court decision”

Bruce Golding, former Jamaican prime minister (Photo by Antonio Cruz via WIkimedia Commons)
Bruce Golding, former Jamaican prime minister (Photo by Antonio Cruz via WIkimedia Commons)

“The views of the Jamaican people, no matter how overwhelming, will have no more weight than those of the Greeks who voted against austerity demands. The issue of gay rights is no longer just a cause célèbre; it has been elevated to a ‘human-rights’ issue whose universality must transcend public opinion and legislative or electoral decisions.”

Senior journalist claims Christian persecution

“Ian Boyne: Religious liberty vs gay rights.” 

“Gay activists have become a major threat to free speech and liberty. They are not willing to live and let live, or to leave religious objectors alone. They want to control not just our actions but our very thoughts. If they are thought of as sinners or immoral, they can’t abide that. They must drive that out of religious people’s heads or drive them underground.

“There is a profoundly undemocratic, totalitarian proclivity in many gay people, perhaps as psychological overcompensation for so many years of oppression, prejudice and bigotry. It’s often the case that the oppressed become the new oppressors.”

Fundamentalist lawyer claims marriage equality distorts the universal order and is very different from Loving v Virginia because of race.

“Gay marriage another kettle of fish” by Shirley Richards

Shirley Richards (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Gleaner)
Shirley Richards (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Gleaner)

“Describing same-sex ‘family life’ as ‘a life which harms no one else’ is like ignoring an elephant in plain sight. How does one explain the fact that this ‘life which harms no one else’ is reordering society in its image? What about harm to the individuals themselves? Shouldn’t the society be concerned about undeniable medical statistics on the consequences of high-risk sexual behaviour for the participants?

“It should be clear to all that the homosexual lifestyle is not a harmless one, neither to the individual nor to society. Furthermore, it is not a lifestyle that is prepared to stay in the bedroom but, instead, insists on forcing itself into the centre of the public square.

Today’s op-ed supports public health benefits of marriage equality

Glenis Lorman: Sound ruling on gay marriage

“High-risk sexual behaviour in our society is related to having unprotected sex with multiple partners, whether gay or straight. Sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted in straight sex as well as gay sex.

“Marriage is supposed to encourage people to settle down, commit to each other, build a life together and give up high-risk behaviours. I am aware that this does not always happen in straight marriages and, conversely, in gay marriages as well, but the ideal remains true in many cases.”

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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