Anti-gay church leaders in Jamaica claim they will be the victims if Jamaican courts overturn the law that provides for up to 10 years in prison for male-male sexual relations.
In promoting an anti-gay march on June 23, they imagine a domino effect of victimization of Christians and Christian principles if the Jamaican buggery law is overturned. As quoted in the Jamaica Observer.com, the Rev. Dr. Naila L Ricketts said:
“Our constitutional rights to preach the truth of God’s word is also threatened and, should the law be repealed, what you and I preached may be termed hate speech and will make us criminally liable before the courts in Jamaica.
The removal of the buggery law may result in the legalisation of same-sex relationships and marriages, which would have far-reaching effects for us as a nation. …
For you as pastors and leaders, you may lose your freedom to preach the undiluted Word of God, you may no longer be able to stand with scripture on this moral issue of same-sex relationships – which the Lord clearly outlines, is an abomination to Him. …
This will open the way for homosexual curriculum to be taught to our children from an early age in our school system; that same sex relationships is normal and that it is a viable alternative for everyone.
Following that line of reasoning, Ricketts said the upcoming court challenge of the law, which allows imprisonment of gay men, is a “direct attack on our freedom.”
The consortium of conservative Christian leaders known as Prayer 2000 has invited all Jamaican churches to take part in a “peaceful prayer march” next Sunday, ahead of the hearing of an application challenging the constitutionality of the buggery law by the Supreme Court on June 25.
“This is our final chance, our final opportunity to make our voice be heard,” Ricketts said.
The legal challenge to the buggery law comes from Javed Jaghai, a young gay Jamaican who was evicted from his home after his landlady discovered his sexual orientation. The claim on his behalf was filed by United States-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World, which is asking the court to determine if the anti-sodomy law breaches rights guaranteed under the Jamaican Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which was passed into law in 2011.
Jaghai’s approach to the dispute is more modest than that of Ricketts. He recently tweeted:
We’re asking you to be tolerant. You’re asking us to not exist. Who is really forcing who?
For more information, see the full Jamaica Observer article, “Church group plans big anti-gay march next Sunday.”
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