Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless MSM Project 2009 a detailed look & more



In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless men in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bruce Golding on "Is Jamaica Homophobic?"

Is Jamaica Homophobic?

Originally published on BigThink.comVideo also available via the link above



Question:

Why are homosexual acts illegal in Jamaica?

Bruce Golding: It is rooted in a number of things. Firstly, we are a predominately a Christian country and a fervently Christian country. It may not be reflected entirely in terms of how we live sometimes, but we are passionately committed to certain basic Christian principles, which [...] homosexuality.

But we have become quite tolerant. We are tolerant provided that homosexual lifestyle does not invade our space. And what do I mean by that? Persons who wish, because of their own inclination, to live in a homosexual relationship, do so in Jamaica and there are many such persons in Jamaica.

The society in Jamaica in general do not want to be… do not want it to be flaunted.

They don’t want it to be sort of thrown into the face, because there are some real fears.

There are some real fears.

The basic unit of a society is a family, and there is a passionate concern in Jamaica about protecting the integrity of the family.

And it is felt that encouragement or recognition of the appropriateness of the homosexual lifestyle is going to undermine the effectiveness of that family unit and, in that process, undermine the basic fabric of a society.

But I think much of what has been carried in the international media in terms of homophobia in Jamaica is grossly exaggerated. Homosexuals in Jamaica, they live and they enjoy their relationship.

They are intermingled with heterosexuals, they have normal relations with heterosexuals, but they do have their private relationships.

And so long is that is so, I don’t believe that the people in Jamaica are going to be particularly perturbed.

What is illegal in Jamaica is buggery, which is in fact making homosexual acts illegal. There have been very, very few prosecutions; very, very few. And in most instances, there are prosecutions because there is a complaint by a victim. So that it’s not the flashpoint issue that many people in the international media claim that it is.

Recorded on September 25, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman

3 comments:

mark said...

Do you agree with your PM, Mr H?

GLBTQ Jamaica Linkup Mod said...

he (Bruce Golding) may hit on a truth about the cases that are few .....Most cases of buggery that do come to public knowledge are usually where homosexual paedophilia is the reason, a younger victim (usually male) vs older accused, which doesn't suggest the perpetrator is a homosexual but stigma over the years has left MSMs to be labelled as paedophiles among other things hence the public indignation, active homophobic violence and displacement over the years.

Where consenting adults are allegedly "caught in the act" by agents of the state or if a neighbour calls 119 on reason of suspicious behaviour those cases usually adjourned sine die in court (put off for a seven year period where the prosecution can recall the matter if new evidence turns up) after a while as arresting officers usually stop coming to court despite subpoenaed to do so coupled with judges feeling it's a waste of the courts' time, they never normally pass the preliminary hearing stage. Most accused of buggery are left dealing with the embarrassment of media publications hence outed to everyone, displacement from their homes and family ostracism and or violence especially those from the lower socio economic strata.

Those cases never normally pass the preliminary hearings so the precedence therefore has been set over time and the courts tend to be more severe on paedohpiles than "consenting" adults in as far as male homosexual acts are concerned. Judges usually are quick to adjourn these kinds of cases as of late as the Judiciary in a way is sensitive it seems towards this issue of privacy. However once a minor is involved that's a different matter.

That explains why some advocates call for the decriminalization of the Buggery Law under the Offences Against The Persons Act.

The public's reaction to gays is another matter entirely.

Pity the Prime Minister did not see it fit to respond in such a fashion as he did here while on the BBC's Hardtalk when he made that "Not in My Cabinet" call or maybe due to his freshness in office after winning the elections it was the right thing to say to drum up support after all he won by only 4 seats.

Probably some research needs to be done to see the rest of it such as females who have been buggered who have brought their accusers to book and so on.

Peace.

mark said...

I would imagine that this is a policy determined by the Director of Public Prosecutions. They have leeway in this kind of thing.

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Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

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Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.

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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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Love.

What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)

First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers
The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311


Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

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