Americas / Commentary

Jamaica: Fear of gays as silly as fearing kangaroo invasion

Excerpts from a commentary by Michael Abrahams — gynecologist, obstetrician, comedian and poet — about the Sept. 27 anti-LGBT rally held in connection with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent visit to Jamaica. The commentary was published in the Jamaica Gleaner.

Misplaced priorities and the anti-gay agenda

Dr. Michael Abrahams (Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Observer)

Dr. Michael Abrahams (Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Observer)

… When one objectively examines the issues adversely affecting families in Jamaica today, one sees at the forefront, child abuse and neglect, children born in unstable unions, absent fathers, men having children outside their relationships, women with multiple babyfathers, men with multiple babymothers, divorce, domestic violence, incest, teenage pregnancies and child trafficking, among other things.
Interestingly, while the rally was in progress, there was an item broadcast in the evening news featuring the children’s advocate expressing concern about the number of children in Jamaica who are getting shot.

So, for the organisers [of the “Defending Family Faith and Freedom” rally that thousands attended on Sept. 27] to claim that they were driven to stage the rally out of concern for the Jamaican family is somewhat disingenuous, because while the above-mentioned issues are prevalent in our society today, same-sex marriage is not only illegal, it is also not up for discussion by our Government.

The premier LGBT rights advocacy group in Jamaica, J-FLAG, does not even have the issue on its agenda. Before same-sex marriage can be legalised, the buggery law has to be repealed, and there is no evidence of that happening here anytime soon.

Also, repeal of the buggery law does not necessarily mean that same-sex marriage will be fast-tracked. Bahamas repealed its buggery law in 1991 and persons are still not allowed to marry others of the same gender in that country. So obsessing over the possibility of same-sex marriage and prioritising it over the above-mentioned issues is as silly as worrying about an invasion of kangaroos in the Arctic Circle, while trivialising the devastating effects of climate change.

The Rev. Richard Ho Lung (Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Observer)

The Rev. Richard Ho Lung (Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Observer)

Father Richard Ho Lung took to the stage and urged the audience to “love the sinner but hate the sin”. But shouting disparaging, anti-gay sentiments to a frenzied crowd is not showing love, and only serves to psychologically traumatise members of the LGBT community.

Also, Ho Lung expressed concern about boys being told to be “friends with boys”, an attitude that I found to be rather peculiar, as he himself walks around with boys who are friends with boys, wearing garments resembling frocks.

Daniel Thomas, of the Love March Movement, accused United States President Barack Obama of promoting homosexuality, when he has done no such thing. What Obama has done is promote tolerance. Children’s advocate Betty-Ann Blaine also cautioned people to be careful of the term ‘human rights’, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the fact that LGBT rights fall under the umbrella of human rights.

Several of these fraudulent prophets of doom made references to the then upcoming visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron, instilling fear into attendees that he would pressure us into accepting same-sex marriage. I was informed, however, by several contacts inside the PNP administration, including two government ministers, that during Cameron’s visit to Jamaica, LGBT issues were not even raised.

The irony is that these zealots congregated to unite against the ‘gay agenda’, when the ‘gay agenda’, at least in Jamaica, is for LGBT people to be treated equally, which is not unreasonable.

On the other hand, there is definitely an ominous anti-gay agenda in operation in our country today, spearheaded by insensitive and overzealous bigots who give true Christians a bad name. Their goal is to demoralise, denigrate and suppress persons who are not heterosexual.

These individuals claim to follow a man who instructed his followers to love others and to not judge. But they incite discrimination against a sector of our population who, just like the rest of us, want and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. …

For the full commentary, see “Misplaced priorities and the anti-gay agenda” in the Jamaica Gleaner.

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