Jamaica: 5 reasons why gay rights vote is a bad idea

Andrew Holness (Photo courtesy of NewTalk93FM.com)
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness (Photo courtesy of NewTalk93FM.com)

Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s new prime minister, proposes a referendum on the nation’s anti-gay buggery law.

Maurice Tomlinson (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
Maurice Tomlinson (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

It’s the sort of idea that initially sounds appealing — just ask Malawian President Peter Mutharika — but is fundamentally flawed. Why should the human rights of a minority depend on the outcome of a majority vote?

Jamaican activist Maurice Tomlinson  makes the same point in a variety of ways …

  1. “You should NOT vote on human rights! Period. Otherwise they are not ‘rights’ but privileges.”


2. “Some (primarily partisan) J’can LGBTI activists actually SUPPORT this ludicrous notion of a referendum as being “democratic.”I am really shocked by how little understanding these people have about human RIGHTS! They simply DON’T understand how our CONSTITUTIONAL democracy works.

IF YOU THINK that it would be DEMOCRATIC for minority rights to be put to a popular vote, then you would have LOVED living under JIM CROW laws in the southern USA. The majority there SUPPORTED segregation. That didn’t make it RIGHT! Also, Hitler was supported by a MAJORITY of Germans when he unleashed the Holocaust. Again, that did not make his actions RIGHT!

Thankfully Jamaica has a CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY which protects minority groups from the tyranny of the majority.

Minority rights must NEVER be put to a popular vote. That would make them PRIVILEGES and NOT RIGHTS!”


3. “Dear Prime Minister Holness,

Expensive national referendums are for matters that concern the entire nation. What I do in the privacy of my bedroom with another consenting adult, and harms no one is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

The nation has no business in my bedroom!

Yours truly,


4. “The Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, wants to pry into my bedroom AND INVITE THE ENTIRE NATION TO WATCH!

And finally:

5. “Dear Prime Minister Holness,
I will agree to a referendum on my right to privacy if I get to vote on how you make love to your wife. Missionary position only!



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, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.


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