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What's with this "strange attachment" to retaining the buggery law- J-FLAG chides SDA

Published:Saturday | April 2, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Dane Lewis, executive director, J-FLAG.

Branding it a "strange attachment", Jamaica's leading gay lobby J-FLAG is criticising local faith-based groups for their attitudes towards supporting the retention of the buggery law despite the reported effects on members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Dane Lewis, executive director of J-FLAG, made the comments in reaction to Seventh-day Adventist pastor Dr Merrick Walker's assertions that any decision to repeal Jamaica's buggery law would not be in alignment with the Bible and, as such, warned policymakers to keep God at the centre of their deliberations.

The pastor of the Washington Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Andrew said that while he was not in support of anyone discriminating against homosexuals, he urged individuals to desist from indulging in sinful acts.

PROTECTING ALL JAMAICANS

However, the J-FLAG head is not pleased, noting his deep concern that some religious leaders were not doing enough to have the Government "do more to protect all Jamaicans from abuse, discrimination, crime and violence".

"We have a strange attachment to retaining the buggery law. I imagine much of this is motivated by our preoccupation with certain kinds of sex and ignorance about LGBT Jamaicans," Lewis said in a statement to The Gleaner.

The gay lobbyist argues that the buggery law, while not criminalising homosexuality, contributes to the homophobia and intolerance meted out to members of the gay community locally. He added that members of the LGBT community are also in some of the churches, which do not speak out much on the issue of discrimination.

"They (faith-based institutions) must recognise that their deafening silence in this regard helps to perpetuate the homophobia and transphobia that continue to affect the lives of many persons, as well as their families and loved ones," Lewis said.