The Editor, Sir;
On April 7, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life conducted the first 'Walk for Tolerance' in Montego Bay. I applaud this initiative particularly since Montego Bay has the second-highest HIV-prevalence rate in Jamaica and is home to marginalised communities such as homosexual men, who don't receive the outreach and treatment necessary to address this epidemic because of discriminatory laws in a homophobic society.
As a heterosexual Christian woman I want to ask, how long are we going to hide our ignorance behind the guise of 'Christianity', a religion that preaches tolerance and respect for others? What is so wrong with allowing homosexuals basic human rights and at least tolerating the idea that two consenting adults should be allowed to love one another when it doesn't hurt anyone else?
Just last year a black man was sworn in as president of a country that less than 50 years ago wouldn't even have allowed him to sit in the front of a bus, a notion that is unfathomable today. Isn't it time that we examine our unfounded claims that homosexuals don't deserve the right to live and love without fear and rejection? Given the homophobic climate they face in Jamaica and elsewhere, if they could choose to live any other way do you think they would choose this persecution?
People do not choose a life that relegates them to the back of the bus, a life that leads them to maltreatment and rejection, and to punish them for this is unjust and unwarranted.
I am, etc.,