So as expected the backlash begins whenever homosexuality makes the mainstream news and as the calls for the decriminalization of the buggery law comes from both local and foreign quarters in various forms the homophobes and theocrats are crawling out the woodwork and putting all kinds of spins on their arguments. Chief among them is this belief that homosexuality,the attraction of same sexed individuals is illegal when it is buggery on a national level as practiced that is so.
Here is another letter in the Jamaica Observer that speaks to this confusion.
As I observe the recent developments in our country's growth, the issue of making homosexuality legal has created a stir that causes me to give my input on the matter.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said homosexuality offends many Jamaicans. Knowing this to be more than true in a nation as homophobic as ours, it would lead to the fact that should gay activities be made legal, the crime rate would rise. Indeed, our dancehall culture over the years seems to have outlined certain protocols for treating individuals of such orientation. If they were to be allowed to practise such lifestyles, they would just become easy targets for killers.
I am familiar with the expression, "Majority rules". According to the article "Liberate Gays" by Maurice Tomlinson, gay men are estimated at 7-10 per cent of the population. Therefore, with most people rejecting the very thought of homosexuality it would seem that legalising it would be against the democratic rights of our country. A suggestion to the prime minister is that a referendum be held so the citizens can speak their views once and for all, after which the government would take the next necessary step.
Finally, being born and raised in the church, I must oppose the lifestyle on behalf of a nation that is predominantly Christian in belief. The Bible calls it an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), and in every way and form promotes sexual relations between a man and a woman. For those who like to bash the church, do so at your own pleasure - but neither does the Quran, Vedas or Torah advocate for same sex unions. After all, extremists don't blow themselves up for 72 virgin males; neither do male Hindu deities have male consorts. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Jamaica should decide what is best for its future, no matter which country threatens us, for "sin is a reproach to any people" (Genesis 19). Besides, homosexual groups in our schools have already started causing enough trouble.
What Jamaican Law says about Homosexuality:
Contrary to popular belief, it is not actually illegal to be homosexual in Jamaica. Being a homosexual does not contravene any of the existing laws; however, the law makes certain ‘homosexual acts’ illegal, and these laws are used to persecute gay men. They state that “acts of gross indecency” and buggery [anal sex] are illegal. Although buggery refers to anal sex between a man and another man, a woman or an animal, in practice the law is predominately enforced against two men. Lesbians are also discriminated against in the wider society, however no laws target lesbians or lesbian conduct.
Offences Against the Person Act
This act prohibits “acts of gross indecency” between males and males and females as well, in public or in private. (This is a very general term which can be interpreted to mean any kind of physical intimacy)
Article 76 (Unnatural Crime)
“Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery [anal intercourse] committed either with mankind or with any animal, (males and females) shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years.”
Article 77 (Attempt)
“Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, with or without hard labour.”
Article 78 (Proof of Carnal Knowledge)
“Whenever upon the trial of any offence punishable under this Act, it may be necessary to prove carnal knowledge, it shall not be necessary to prove the actual emission of seed in order to constitute a carnal knowledge, but the carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete upon proof of penetration only.”
Article 79 (Outrages on Decency)
“Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 2 years, with or without hard labour.”