Last week's murder of Ugandan gay-rights advocate David Kato reminds us of the hatred of homosexuals, many of whom have been forced to flee a mob of morality enforcers that have launched a name-and-shame campaign in that country. While Kato's death has not been linked to his activism, there's no doubt that the outing of his sexual orientation by a Ugandan newspaper, and the threats sparked by that revelation, imperilled his life.
Of course, we have our own problems here in Jamaica. While J-FLAG and Amnesty International have made largely sensational claims that gays here are being murdered left, right and centre because of their orientation, it is undeniable that they face vitriol and violence in a mostly anti-buggery society.
However, despite a much-vaunted revulsion to homosexuality, Jamaican heterosexuals have an almost fetishistic obsession with the subject. Standard words are now taboo, evoking protestation from cake soap-toting, tight pants-wearing, earring-studded, eyebrow-shaven men who are, ironically, the new face of machismo. Queer, isn't it? "Don't call me guy!" "Don't call us gentlemen!" "I don't eat fish, I eat swimmers!" "We count 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... . We nuh inna No. 2!"
If you ask me, we're all a bit too anal-retentive on the gay gab.
Jamaicans have got to decide whether they are going to repeal a buggery law which has been toothless - except, for the most part, in the prosecution of child abusers - or submit to the lowest common denominator and hunt down gays with the passion of a McCarthyist yahoo.
Of course, the Government has said the police aren't gonna kick down doors searching for gays. But if that's the case, to have a buggery law which you don't intend to fully uphold makes the law, pardon the pun, a bit of an ass. If the law was effective, even heterosexuals who are raring to go with less-than-kosher positions would also be hauled to prison.
While many hold strong moral and theological views in defence of retaining the buggery law, any endorsement of Government's snooping under the covers of either consensually intimate heterosexuals or homosexuals, who have reached the age of consent, will require Mossad and MI5 to execute.
The US has sobered up to the fact that legislation such as 'don't ask, don't tell' was both ineffective and counterproductive. Lawmakers - at least the majority of them - have finally come to realise that 'don't ask, don't tell' didn't negate the existence of gay and lesbian soldiers, nor did their sexual orientation matter when they were being blown up by improvised explosive devices or engaging in firefights with the Taliban.
Even if homosexuality is considered sinful, legislating against private, consensual adult sexual activity is a difficult, if not unpoliceable, proposition. For that rationale would require biblical fire and brimstone - or imprisonment, as in the case of buggery - to rain down on those involved in prema-rital or adulterous sex, which means we'd have to squeeze more than half the population into our already swollen prisons. And, of course, a repeal doesn't rob the Church of the right to denounce buggery, as it already does with fornication and adultery, which are legal.
We also haven't quite rationalised the apparent comfort with lesbians and the explicit discomfort with gay men. Just check out the homo-hating hordes of men who flock to lesbian mudfights.
Whatever our views on buggery, or homosexuality, a culture of violence towards gays is uncivil and unchristian. After all, Jamaicans might not all be Homo homo, but they are all Homo sapiens. The impeccable heterosexuals and the impeccable homosexuals will have to coexist. Let's keep the dialogue going.
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