Sun | Apr 30, 2017

PM being disingenuous, says gay rights advocate

Published:Friday | March 27, 2015 | 3:40 PM
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Jamaican gay rights advocate and attorney-at-law Maurice Tomlinson has accused Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller of being disingenuous in her response to calls for her government to improve conditions in Jamaica for gays.

He says if the Prime Minister and her Government truly respect the human rights of gay Jamaicans she would go ahead and fulfil her promise of amending the country’s anti-buggery laws.

Tomlinson says it is disingenuous for Simpson Miller to say that she supports the rights of all citizens while Jamaica still has laws which punish consenting adult gay men to prison for 10 years at hard labour for their private acts of intimacy.

His remarks are in response to assertions made by Simpson Miller yesterday while she challenged gay rights protestors in New York in the United States.

The protestors had criticised the prime minister and her government for not doing enough to protect homosexuals and lesbians.

The prime minister said she and her government respect the rights of all citizens and chided the protestors for not telling the truth.

 

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller

However, the gay rights advocate says Simpson Miller should put action to her words by using her majority in Parliament to repeal the 1864 anti-buggery laws which have been carried over from colonial rule.

According to him, many gay Jamaicans feel betrayed that Simpson Miller’s 2011 election promise of reviewing the law has not been given legislative priority.

Meanwhile, Tomlinson says Jamaica has seen more proactive interventions by police to take gays out of harmful situation.

However, he says the investigation and prosecution of homophobic attacks remains woefully inadequate.

He says he believes that this will not change until the anti-buggery law is repealed.