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Straight-talking Golding defends stance on gays
published: Friday | May 23, 2008


Jamaicans in Birmingham flock Prime Minister Bruce Golding after he addressed a meeting held Wednesday at the Birmingham Town Hall in Victoria Square. The Birmingham meeting was the second of four community fora being held with Jamaicans in the United Kingdom (UK), during the prime minister's first official visit there. He returns to the island on Sunday. - JIS photo

Prime Minister Bruce Golding is defending his declaration on a BBC talk show, that homosexuals would not be welcome in his Cabinet.

Responding to a Gleaner editorial, criticising the tone of his response to questions about homosexuality on BBC's HARDtalk Tuesday, Golding made it clear his Government was not about to erode the country's innate values that determine both its prejudices and morals.

"Values inherently involve prejudices," Golding wrote in a letter to the editor. "For example, we are prejudiced against incest and prostitution. Should we now be required to recognise the rights of incesters and prostitutes and find accommodation for them in the Cabinet?"

Further pressure

The Gleaner editorial stated that "Jamaica and Mr Golding can expect further pressure from the international community, which is the lesser of the outcomes of the PM's performance. His greater failure is that of leadership."

In his letter, the prime minister said: "The family unit, which is the cradle of our society's values, is already under severe stress. It needs to be protected and strengthened, not further undermined by endorsement of lifestyle practices which contradict the relationships on which families are founded."

Golding also argued that the campaign for gay rights by lobbyists would not end with the entitlement of Cabinet membership for homosexuals.

"Its sights are set on same-sex unions, same-sex marriages. Where is the line to be drawn? Is there a line to be drawn?"

Read the Gay debate in News Section

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