What we can learn from Jamaican anti-gay ‘Love March’

"Love March" in Jamaica (Photo courtesy of AntiGayFactCheck.org)
“Love March” in Jamaica (Photo courtesy of AntiGayFactCheck.org)

Saturday’s anti-homosexuality “Love March” by several dozen people in Jamaica raised questions about strategies for winning basic human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people there and elsewhere.

At the end of a remarkably detailed report on the march, Anti-Gay Fact Check presented several conclusions about what just happened. Do you agree with them?

Here are some of their comments [with some additional questions from the Erasing 76 Crimes blog].

“Overall, we think the march was ineffective. …”

“The LGBT rights movement is a process … and Jamaica was overdue an anti-gay march. ”

“The LGBT movement shouldn’t be alarmed by the march or feel too upset about it. In fact, AGFC thinks it was a good thing for a couple of reasons:

"Love March" in Jamaica (Photo courtesy of AntiGayFactCheck.org)
Along the route of the “Love March” in Jamaica (Photo courtesy of AntiGayFactCheck.org)

1) It shows how obsessed “The Church” is about homosexuality while being silent on other issues. People will lose their trust in this institution and view them as irrelevant. [Isn’t that a bit of wishful thinking? Many evangelical churches and the Roman Catholic hierarchy have prospered and held onto their huge clout while focusing obsessively on a few issues such as homosexuality and abortion, while ignoring issues of justice and human rights.]

2) It shows that the LGBT movement is becoming a potent force and is no longer insignificant. Backlash from Christian groups will always happen and when it usually does it’s because they feel they are losing their monopoly on government. It’s desperation not arrogance. In their cry for help they came up with their plan, “Compassion without compromise”, which is another way of saying we will win over the homosexuals by being nice to them. [That’s a good analysis, but I’d also give the march organizers credit for pushing the theme of love. The world has more than its share of anti-gay hate. Agree?]

3) The international community will once again put its attention on Jamaica and discussion about homosexuality will take centre stage. Can’t have change without discussion.

4) While the anti-gay Christians continue to waste time and use the religious argument, which has been proven to not work for their agenda anywhere, the LGBT movement can keep them busy and continue to move forward as has happened in other countries. [Isn’t it overly optimistic to say that the religious argument “has been proven not to work … anywhere”? American fundamentalists have been horribly effective in Uganda. Shouldn’t progressive Christians and other gay-friendly faith leaders be included as allies in this struggle, since they should be able to articulate the inclusive religious alternative to anti-gay preachers?]

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor / publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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  1. Any unbiased and thinking person could have looked at the advertised ‘Love March’ which took place yesterday (September 15), and realise this was a march particularly about homosexuality, and that so as not to look anti-gay threw in fornication and pornography.

    Had this truly been a march for sexual purity then why did the organisers put so much energy into regularly referencing homosexuality, while at the same time putting such concentrated effort into portraying an image of not being anti-gay?

    If they had put as much effort into being anti-pornography, and anti-fornication, then they would not have to worry about seeming anti-gay because it would have fit perfectly into their theme. Further they should have also circulated a petition, calling for the criminalisation of fornicators and the sale, televising and distribution of pornography.

    I’m glad they had their march, the religious (Christian) lobbyists love to cry that Christians cannot speak out against homosexuality, and frighten people with half truths, the truth is religionists have a problem being told that they have to be careful, and that they will be held accountable for inciting violence, religionists it seems have a problem keeping within the boundaries of the law and playing on a level playing field.

    Jamaica is not a Christian country, however, everyone including Christians seem to think that having the most followers, is grounds on which to demand Christian supremacy and dominance.

    Finally I propose that to counter this fallacy, all Jamaicans who are tired of Christianity taking over our country, and violating our freedom of and from religion take to the streets and march. To this end I propose a Secular Campaign March similar I would say, to the Secular Europe Campaign that happened on September 15 (http://secular-europe-campaign.org/). We should have banners, publicize it, and invite speakers, local and international athiests, agnostics, freethinkers, secularists, and invite ourallies the religious people who strongly believe in secularism to also speak and participate. Sitting down and quietly talking or writing is not getting us anywhere and certainly not at a good speed.

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