Wed | Apr 21, 2021

Holness, JLP weak-willed on gay rights

Published:Friday | October 30, 2015 | 12:37 PM


I just finished reading an interview in Vogue Magazine with the Jamaica-born novelist Marlon James, who had this to say about being gay and growing up in Jamaica:

"You go through all the rituals of secrecy to just be yourself. And I realised I just couldn't do that. My conclusion for a long time was to simply not do it - not be a person, not have a life, not have love, not express myself in any way that's even human. But if I keep this up, I'm going to be dead for real, because I'm already kind of dead."

Immediately, I thought of JLP leader Andrew Holness, who says, if elected PM, he would put the buggery law issue to the people to decide in a referendum. The JLP seems to choose campaign issues loosely based on what they read and hear in the media. An effective leader is decisive, and wouldn't need to rely on costly referenda to make decisions, especially on human-rights issues.

If all these issues were to be based on referendum voting, the world would still be waiting to resolve human-rights matters such as gender and race equality.

A good leader grabs the bull by the horns and leads by example, doing what he feels is right. A good leader consults, but also uses his influence and intellect to lead. As people become more aware and educated, these issues become non-issues. This is why First World countries that are way ahead in academia, science, technology and development are also advanced with these topics.

How can you ask the public to vote on which sex acts between consenting adults should be legal or illegal? What would the referendum prove besides the obvious - that most people are homophobic?

Even if the PNP Government didn't act on the promise to review the buggery law, at least they were courageous enough, to state their position - anyone can serve in the PNP Cabinet, and no one should be discriminated against based on sexuality.

The only thing we have heard from the JLP is that they would rely on a referendum vote. What a farce! The JLP is not progressive at all.