I feel compelled to comment on the article headlined 'No truth repealing buggery law will help reduce HIV/AIDS'. I can't believe that in 2011 a lawyer, and past president of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship, would make such comments.
Ms Shirley Richards was also concerned that repealing this law may result in children being taught in schools that homosexuality is OK. These comments are irresponsible, and worse, they are made amidst the discussion on the Charter of Rights which ought to be inclusive, and not exclusive.
Human beings should certainly not be discriminated against based on race, gender or sexual orientation, and these lawyers need to get with the programme and stop speaking rubbish. The law defines buggery as an act which makes homosexuality amongst men illegal. It is also strange that heterosexuals exploring these same acts in heterosexual relationships is OK.
Lesbians seem off topic, as society is far more lenient towards them. Quite frankly, neither Ms Richards nor the Government have any business defining what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. They also have no business deciding who consenting adults love.
To say there is no proof that removing this law will reduce incidents of HIV/AIDS, suggests that Ms Richards and her crew must be living under some rock. There are nearly 40 million people living with HIV around the world, and the places with the highest rates of increases are third world, developing countries.
Removing any law that stigmatises vulnerable groups certainly won't end HIV. It will, without a doubt, help to make HIV prevention/care outreach programmes far easier and more accessible, which ultimately would impact on prevention and rates of increases.
Removing laws does not exactly remove the right to condone (if that is one's choice). It is absurd and silly to suggest that removing the law might result in teaching homosexuality as normal or abnormal in schools. The classroom cannot teach us who we will love. What must be taught instead is that we are all human beings, we all have the right to exist, and coexist, in peace and harmony within the confines of the law.
It is funny how many Jamaicans are quick to condemn homosexuality, yet these same Jamaicans rush to First World countries to visit and to live, and they adapt so easily, as they embrace their new homes, culture and new laws.
They live with, work with, and play with open gays, without any issues. We should all be concerned about saving lives and the health and well-being of our citizens. I am so tired of Christians always being so quick to judge and condemn. I am tired of the hypocrisy. How can Ms Richards even state that "transmission seems to be out of control among men who have sex with men".
HIV does not discriminate, it affects young and old, male and female, all races, classes, heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual and all others. HIV is a global issue, not a homosexual issue. Unlike places like South Africa, where the Church is an integral part in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Jamaican church leaders are naive enough to make it a homosexual issue, encouraging a climate of hate and phobia, masked by their Christianity.
Shirley Richards should practise provincial law and leave the business of framing citizens' rights and privileges to those interested in the growth and development of the society. Negativity and dogged blind loyalty to Christianity are not the end all, and she can practise her religion in her home.
New York City