A month after an anti-homosexuality protest fizzled in Cameroon, a Christian group is seeking its own anti-homosexuality march in Jamaica, where debates over homosexuality have been raging recently.
Love March 2012 is scheduled for Sept. 15 in the capital of Kingston.
The organizers make an effort to emphasize that they “love homosexuals,” but they lump together “porn, fornication and homosexuality,” opposing all three simultaneously.
They do not acknowledge the goodness — or even the existence — of committed, loving same-sex relationships.
The group also opposes repeal of Jamaica’s anti-buggery law, which provides for prison sentences of up to 10 years for male homosexual activity.
One of the Biblical texts that they cite prominently, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, contains a condemnation of something often translated as “homosexuality” — “effeminate” in the King James Version — although the word does not refer to anything like modern committed same-sex relationships, which were unknown at the time when the letter to the Corinthians was written in the 1st century.
Homosexuality has been a controversial issue in Jamaica recently.
The country has a reputation as an intensely homophobic nation, despite Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller’s position against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She has suggested a review of the country’s buggery laws.
Part of that reputation is due to the popularity of Jamaican singers with violent anti-gay lyrics. For example, a song by reggae star Beenie Man stated, “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays.” He has since apologized for such lyrics and said his understanding of gays has changed.
Gay activists argue that stigma against homosexuals forces gay and bisexual men to hide their sexuality, which keeps them from learning how to protect themselves from AIDS. In Jamaica, the HIV infection rate is estimated at 25 percent or more among men who have sex with men, compared to 1.7 percent in the overall population.
Human rights activists seek action to curtail Jamaica’s high rate of murders of gays and lesbians. Police and activists argue about how many of those murders are gay-on-gay crime and how many are caused by homophobia.
Jamaican gay activist Maurice Tomlinson fled the country in January because of death threats he received after his marriage to his partner was publicized.
For Jamaican activist Angeline Jackson, the march’s focus on homosexuality is part of a fundamentalist Christian strategy to “to erode current Jamaican culture and impose Christian fundamentalism.” She proclaims, “It is time for the rest of Jamaicans who are tired of this hostile takeover of beautiful Jamaica to come forward, the Progressive Christians, non-Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists. We need to rise up and take a stand.”
- Human rights group urges Jamaica to repeal anti-buggery law (antiguaobserver.com)
- Jamaica and Gays: Are We Homophobic or Not? (newsandviewsbydjmillerja.wordpress.com)
- ‘World Day Against Homosexuality’? No! (76crimes.com)
- Two more gay men killed in Jamaica; panel seeks probe (76crimes.com)
- World Bank may join fight against anti-LGBT bias (76crimes.com)
- Reggae Star Blasts GLAAD, OutRage and other Homosexual Organizations (prweb.com)
- Over the Borderline (the sublimely surprising world of Jamaican masculinity). (PowerMoneySex.org.za)