Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Sensationalism on US gay-marriage ruling

Published:Saturday | July 18, 2015 | 12:08 AMSamala Walker

Noted attorney-at-law Linton Gordon presented a plethora of perverse arguments in his article, ‘Gays and the Jamaican economy’ (Sunday Gleaner, July 12, 2015). Mr Gordon posited that “the Supreme Court of the United States of America that gave legitimacy to same-sex marriage will have serious implications for Jamaica”.
Notwithstanding the fact that deliberations that ensued in the USA, concerning homosexuality, were predominantly of legalistic nature, the noted attorney-at-law, by and large, circumvented the legality of the matter and instead centred his article on unsubstantiated economic arguments.
According to Mr Gordon, there is the likelihood that the Jamaican tourism sector will adversely be affected by the homosexual developments in the USA. Are you suggesting that for tourists to continue visiting Jamaica, we have to amend our law for this reason? For ages now, Jamaica has always been the choice for tourists all over the globe, more so the USA, even in eras where the Jamaican society was more homophobic than nowadays.
People aspiring to travel are attracted to the recreational aspect of a country and the security of tourist destinations is always a concern. The building and promotion of Brand Jamaica, as well as curtailing crime, should be foremost in our quest to boost the tourism sector as opposed to gay liberalisation.
Mr Gordon asserted “several of our hotels have a don’t-ask-me, turn-a-blind-eye policy towards same-sex couples turning up at their hotels”. So with that amount of tolerance, why would they want to refrain from visiting Jamaica, Mr Gordon? Are you suggesting that turning a blind eye is not enough for same-sex tourist? What else you want us to do? Amend the buggery law?
It is gross sensationalism for anyone to persist with unnecessary comparisons among international countries and Jamaica concerning the alleged correlation between economic prosperity and gay liberalisation.
Gordon wrote: “Only this year, Ireland voted 62-38 to legalise gay marriage. Buggery was illegal in Ireland up to 1993. The Irish economy went through an extremely difficult period and it appears that citizens have heeded to a wake-up call and are now prepared to do anything that accommodates and facilitates investment and economic opportunities.”
If there is a direct nexus between economic productivity and homosexuality, it is yet to be proven definitively; academic opinions cannot suffice as evidence that homosexuality is beneficial for economies across the globe.
While successful arguments can be made for condemnation of violence against anybody because of their sexual preferences, any attempt to propose that international relations between two countries will be adversely affected because such countries are at variance on the matter of homosexuality infers that gays are grossly intolerant of other persons’ opinions and beliefs.
Civil society is willing to explore the matter of homosexuality as part of our international responsibility, but only with the correct objectives: to establish whether or not our buggery law is repugnant to international human rights or consistent with our national ethos as well as the determinations as to public order, health and welfare.
These variables must form the gravamen of our deliberation on homosexuality.  The vehement assertions for economic opportunities, relating to homosexuality liberalisation, from our international  partners serve as evidence that even in a modern era, Jamaicans are ultra-reluctant to free ourselves from the perils of a perennial dependency syndrome which kept us enslaved.
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