Thu | Nov 14, 2019

No pride in Jamaica’s shame

Published:Monday | September 16, 2019 | 12:27 AM
Charles Sinclair
Charles Sinclair

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The decision of the mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis, to yield to pressure from former Mayor Charles Sinclair to ban Montego Bay Pride from using the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, because one event includes a public forum on WHETHER Jamaica is ready for same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional censorship.

The decision also flies in the face of all the recent pro-LGBT announcements made by the minister of tourism and others about the Second City being welcoming to LGBT tourists.

As you may know, the LGBT travel market is valued at more than US$2 billion, but Jamaica continues to shoot itself in the foot and deny itself access to this lucrative market by yielding to comfortable bigots and right-wing extremists like lawyer and former Mayor Sinclair.

Vital tourist dollars that could be used to assist in the development of our country are being spurned by the truly reckless moves by our politicians.

As a proud Jamaican, I am often asked if there should be a boycott of the country until it recognises the full human rights of LGBT citizens.

I usually say no because I am deeply concerned about the harm who will be inflicted on the more vulnerable members of our society who depend on tourism revenue, which is our largest foreign-exchange earner.

However, my pleas sound hollow when our politicians do their best to ensure that such a boycott is guaranteed to happen.

Jamaica cannot hope to participate in, and benefit from, the world economy and ignore international human-rights obligations.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

Founder and coordinator

Montego Bay Pride