Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Don't discriminate against LGBTs

Published:Friday | April 20, 2018 | 12:52 AM


Prime Minister Andrew Holness may have upended the political narrative in one phrase, "not my business", removing any illusion that there is a divide between the two major political parties  on whether LGBT Jamaicans can serve in public office and whether their human rights should be respected and protected by the Government of this country. 

The prime minister is right. Jamaica is evolving, and attitudes are shifting, whether or not some in the society would want to admit it. LGBT Jamaicans are here to stay, and the country must deal with it.

What was particularly striking about Prime Minister Holness' statement was that he didn’t just address the buggery provisions but spoke broadly to the inherent dignity and worth of the Jamaican citizens who happen to be LGBT.

Essentially, the prime minister spoke about the fundamental rights of LGBT Jamaicans to hold public office, the right to work, and to have a private family life. Discrimination against LGBT Jamaicans has, for a long time, threatened LGBT Jamaicans' right to employment, housing and privacy of family life.

To address these threats, the prime minister should continue to take the lead on this issue, in partnership with the Opposition, to achieve meaningful change by not only focusing on the buggery law but tackling discrimination in our culture, laws and policies.