Thu | Jul 19, 2018

Grossly insensitive, Malahoo Forte

Published:Thursday | June 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo Forte, created a firestorm of controversy when she commented on Twitter on Monday evening that she found it disrespectful of Jamaican laws for the United States Embassy in Kingston to fly the rainbow flag.

Despite Malahoo Forte's addendum that it was her personal view, it was contemptuous and grossly insensitive to have expressed it via social media, and especially during this period of shock and bereavement of the American people.

As the Government's chief legal adviser, I would think that she would be circumspect in her pronouncements in the context of this global space. I am disappointed that she felt that it was appropriate, in any way, to have made such an insensitive and reckless comment. This after Prime Minister Andrew Holness sent a sincere letter of condolence and support to Ambassador Luis G. Moreno.

The Attorney General does not have the luxury of switching her role to a private person when making public comments. We are not interested in her personal views on any matter of public interest.

The appropriate thing to do was to utilise the diplomatic channels to privately express her concerns, as would be the expectation of a responsible government official.

I suspect that Malahoo Forte was referring to the buggery law which criminalises the specific act of anal penetration. The learned Attorney General should know better than anyone else that homosexuality is not outlawed in Jamaica.

Malahoo Forte is no stranger to controversy, but as the Attorney General, she should not be left to fuel speculation. She should, forthwith, justify her comment and clarify what laws were allegedly disrespected.