gang leaders commit acts of buggery against youths - Chuck
MEMBER OF Parliament for North East St Andrew Delroy Chuck yesterday disclosed during a parliamentary committee meeting that leaders of gangs in some inner-city communities in Jamaica use buggery as a means of violating young men.
"Sadly in Jamaica, within some inner-city communities, within gangs, the so-called dons use buggery as a means to violate young men. Now if they prosecute and they are told they were raped, they see themselves as women or they are going to be deemed to be women - that is the victim - even though they are being violated by these men in these inner-city communities.
"So we have to be careful when we even contemplate widening the definition of rape to include what is now presently violation of a male by another male,' Chuck cautioned.
The senior Opposition lawmaker's comments came against the background of a proposal by a senior United Nations representative to Jamaica who yesterday proposed that the definition of rape in law should encompass the forced penetration of an orifice of a woman or man.
Arun Kashyap, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the Caribbean, told members of a joint select committee reviewing the Sexual Offences Act and related laws that rape should be gender neutral in law in Jamaica.
"If we put all forms of sexual assault under one category ..., it would provide uniformity and gender equality in law - which relates to both men and women," Kashyap declared.
However, Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding said he was not too hung up about the need to unify sexual offences including sexual assault, under the banner of rape.
Golding who is also chairman of the committee said he wanted equal protection under the law for men as was provided for women. "Just as the violation of the female by the male is a serious offence and they are protected under the law, I think men who are the subject of violation by other men and boys must be protected as well and I think our law is deficient now."
He contended that the grievous sexual assault provisions did not address the violation of men by men, noting that this was the case because lawmakers at the time did not want to trouble the buggery law. "The result of that is that we have a lack of gender equilibrium in the law now and it is unfair on those victims of sexual violence, who are not being protected," he stressed.
As opinions differed on the controversial subject, Senator Wensworth Skeffery cautioned against changing the definition of rape.
"What if they (two men) give consent? If you define that two males can rape each other, the critical difference is consent, then what if they give consent what are we now saying?"
"We should be careful not to put everything under the broad umbrella of rape," he said, noting that lawmakers may legitimise an act that the society was against.
Joining the debate, Senator Johnson Smith said she supports the UN proposal to expand the definition of rape. "I think in the discourse, much of the time we get lost in the lack of a distinction between sexual intercourse and rape. People forget that rape is not about sex, rape is about power ... . It is the psychological and physical violation of a person, and this may happen from more than one orifice; it may happen in many different ways, the substance of it is it is without consent and it is intended to violate."