Wed | Oct 23, 2019

Church firmly behind mayor on gay lockout

Published:Wednesday | September 18, 2019 | 12:07 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The St James Ministers’ Fraternal has come out in support of the decision by Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis’ decision to deny permission for the gay-rights group Montego Bay Pride to host a series of events at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.

On Monday, the pastoral group declared that it was in agreement with the stance that Davis took during last Thursday’s monthly sitting of the St James Municipal Corporation when the planned events were brought to his attention.

Davis objected to the events being staged at the venue on the grounds that the “sacredness” of the Montego Bay Cultural Centre and its original purpose should be maintained.

The centre, which sits in the heart of the Second City’s Sam Sharpe Square, is a heritage building on the site of Montego Bay’s old courthouse, providing interactive and educational entertainment to visitors.

“We stand resolute and undeterred that the sanctity of the structure must be maintained,” the pastors said in a press release.

“This determination is founded upon biblical and moral principles, which seek to strengthen the institution of marriage and the structure of the family,” the release continued. “Marriage and the family, once maintained in their traditional forms, provide the foundation and material needed for the building and development of healthy and productive societies.”

SIGNIFICANT SITE

Businessman and past president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Lee Bailey, also hailed Davis, saying that the cultural centre should not be commandeered by specific interest groups.

“ ... That centre was lobbied for by previous chambers of commerce and the private sector over the years to set up parts of our heritage and our past history to remind us of the difficulties we went through and where we are today. It was not designed to be influenced by any politics, any religion, or any specific groups,” said Bailey.

Yesterday, the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, the Love March Movement, and Jamaica CAUSE also commended the mayor for their stance.

In a release over the weekend, Montego Bay Pride expressed outrage at the mayor’s pronouncement and indicated that it would be considering legal action.

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