To defend a Jamaican law against consensual same-sex intimacy, conservative Christians in Jamaica favor continued leniency for pedophiles who rape boys.
By Maurice Tomlinson
In Jamaica the sentence for anal rape of a boy is a maximum of 10 years, while it is up to life imprisonment if the victim is a girl. This ridiculous discrepancy is actually SUPPORTED by the extremist evangelical churches because they argue that changing the 1864 anti-sodomy law to equalize the punishment for anal rape of minors would open the statute for constitutional review.
These fundamentalists claim that such a review could possibly lead to decriminalization of consensual adult same-sex intimacy. This curious situation arises because of a “savings law clause” in the constitution that bars local courts from reviewing any pre-independence statutes, like the British colonially-imposed anti-sodomy law.
However, Jamaica’s highest court, the UK-based Privy Council, has ruled that any change in a law (such as equalizing the punishment for anal rape) would open it for constitutional challenge.
For more information about this heart-rending situation, read the Jamaica Gleaner article “Boys at risk – Hanna wants tougher sanction for men who abuse boys.”
The article begins:
Lisa Hanna, St Ann South East Member of Parliament, yesterday made an impassioned plea for Jamaica’s legislature to confront the discrepancy in law that prescribes a lesser punishment for a man who buggers a boy as against a man who rapes a girl. She charged that for years lawmakers have been skirting around the issue.
Evangelical and some Christian groups have said [the proposal] would circumvent the current buggery law.
- Boys at risk – Hanna wants tougher sanction for men who abuse boys (April 2018, Jamaica Gleaner)
- 3 shot in Jamaica: Homophobia raises its ugly head again (
- Top Anglican in Jamaica seeks repeal of buggery law (
- Lawyers, activists target anti-LGBT bias in Caribbean (September 2015, 76crimes.com)