In her response she reinforced basically what she had said at the press conference at the launch of the challenge to the buggery law at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She contested that the British exported the laws to other states at the time to all of their colonies, she noted that Cuba has no sodomy law. "As I see it I do believe we have enough common sense here to decide for ourselves to examine our situation and to say this needs to go or this needs to stay."
But with host Elon reminding here that the public is incensed by the thought she changed her tone to suggest we may not have the common sense after all. In answering host's Elon Parkinson's question:
"Are we missing something here when David Cameron indicated that look this is not just an issue regarding the removal of the anti gay laws but also a human rights issue under the broad scope of human rights we have known especially first world countries have withheld aid on the basis of human rights violations in several states?
Miss Sobers responded: "Many of us in this country supported the embargo against South Africa for instance so this measure has been taken in the past now the issue is why is it that it needs to worry us that much if the UK decides to withhold its money as it has a right to do for instance Barbados who has produced their way out of whatever economic situation might have come close Barbados has no problem with aid they don't get any UK aid so on the one hand it is possible to be independent on the other hand to get there perhaps as part of our development we need to take an approach that respects the right of all, we don't stop and think how much we loose in the brain drain, persons gay persons who migrate take away their skills take away their assets from this country we may need to just think again. If we think of the harm that is done to persons living here and I'll just speak on the harm done to actually straight persons as well with this kind of law because it skews the way in which a man is perceived."
She continued on the point of the downlow phenomenon, poor condom and sex negotiations with HIV/AIDS infection rates directly affected. There are repercussions in maintaining this law. The buggery law she continued that it fuels health issues and corruption - "One of the pluses for a corrupt police officer is an unenforceable law and this is one." The fear of being charged in connection with this law creates opportunities for payola and corruption, persons who maybe innocent have been accosted." she said Britain has no moral authority to do this action.
Lord Anthony Gifford
Said that the way the UK is going about the issue has rubbed Jamaicans the wrong way, he does not think the threat will be carried through, the real issue of him is a needed debate on love and tolerance in the nation and the explanation of the law, he said the law is inciting hate as its text itself is encouraging homophobia, the words are inflammatory as it describes buggery as an abominable crime yet it does not describe other crimes as such. He also added that it is a fundamental rights issue that suppresses the minority. On the matter of homosexual rights being secondary he responded that we need to get the issues into perspective and we have almost perfected other rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of association that we can teach the world. He repeated his original call that the UK government is going about it the wrong way. He hinted to the reparation commission as a means to repair damage he sees that UK has done by passing old laws such as the sodomy ones where symbolic gestures and financial payouts can be made. He agreed with Elon Parkinson that it maybe a kind of colonial hypocrisy as the former colonial master wants states to remove the laws when they were handed to us.
Of interest the opposition People's National Party has been silent are they afraid as the election season approaches to be siding with gays may be political suicide ?
My original response when the story broke on October 10, 2011 on a post on sister blog GLBTQJA Wordpress. My two cents then
But what will that do though in the long run if most states and including Jamaica outside of the region mentioned in the article have a strong beliefs or perception that homosexuality is an import and that actions such as this are forcing the hand of countries with “christian principles” and “high moral values” to capitulate to the powerful gay lobby from first world nations yet The Prime Minister David Cameron is not gay but could be viewed as a puppet in the scheme of this with the pressure coming and positions from the European Union side of things and other bodies such as the United Nations on sexual orientation.
Is forcing countries to comply the way to go?
Or hitting them economically?
I don’t think so, certainly other diplomatic methods can be employed but what about the notion that anti gay forces in the United States are in effect exporting homophobia and funding anti gay and religious fanaticism especially in parts of Africa in recent times. What does Mr. Cameron et al have to say or do about that?, these powerful backers behind such moves are said to be numerous and are some of the biggest companies and individuals allegedly. Will the UK also criticize those backers and demand they stop this kind of clandestine support or be made to stop? Can or will the UK Prime Minister stand up to the police man of the world and call it for what it is? Are we going to solve the issue of tolerance this way folks? I don’t think so, the hitting of the economic prosperity of these non compliant states as it were may only serve to bring more harm to the voices and populations on the ground who are made to pay the price as involuntary martyrs for this kind of pressure.
Also see more responses from the aforementioned persons and State Minister Miss Malahoo Forte on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch Reactions continue to come in on the UK's stance on AID to anti gay laws hosting nations
Peace and tolerance