Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Jamaica CAUSE continues campaign as buggery law takes root

Published:Friday | September 18, 2015 | 9:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Helene Coley Nicholson

An alleged threat to family life in addition to recent developments in the United States regarding the sanctioning of same-sex marriage across that country are some of the concerns that have prompted what is expected to be a massive rally hosted by the Church in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, later this month.

Hundreds of well-known church leaders closed the doors of their sanctuaries to venture out with their membership in Half-Way Tree Square in June of last year to flex their collective muscles, as debate raged over a possible repeal of the buggery law.

Dr Stevenson Samuels, chairman of Jamaica CAUSE, the group spearheading the rally, told a press conference yesterday that the rally would not be an attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) community, but a call to save the nation from what he described as "predicted negative consequences".

"We are suffering from social, spiritual and economic effects of faulty family life and there is much to be done to address oppression and injustice, but despite our economic, political and social challenges, we will not accept new definitions of marriage and family that defy nature and design and will lead the country towards predictable negative outcomes," Samuels declared.

"We reject all forms of pressure or coercion, internal or external. We stand opposed to all policies that harm marriage, family and children, and as such, urge our leaders to protect the Jamaican family which is already gravely threatened," he continued.

WIDE SUPPORT

He also indicated that groups from several Caribbean countries have confirmed their attendance, including from Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Guyana.

Helene Coley Nicholson, president of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, who also addressed the gathering, noted that she was confident that with the support of Jamaican citizens, the country can be saved from decay of the morals of society.

"The case of Kim Davis puts into sharp focus some of the consequences of the unfolding LGBT agenda. Her imprisonment is the direct consequence of the overthrowing of laws by the US Supreme Court which legalised same-sex marriage in all 50 states in June this year," Coley Nicholson said.

POLITICAL AND LEGAL BATTLES

"That ruling has unleashed political and legal battles over concepts of family, religious liberty and freedom of conscience as well as the Jamaican Constitution."

Kim Davis, a Rowan County clerk in the United States, was sent to jail for refusing to issue licences to gay couples earlier this month.

"As the battle rages, what happened to Kim Davis has sent a signal not just to the centres in the US but to those in other countries, including Jamaica, that are within the sphere of the American influence," Coley Nicholson said.

"Intense pressure has been and is being put on Jamaica by the US and other countries to overturn our buggery laws and enact legislation to offer special rights to LGBT persons."

She added: "We acknowledge that more work needs to be done. However, we are people of faith and we will be guided by that. We believe that Jamaica is going to be a place of refuge and we will continue to take a stand and encourage others to stand with us."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com