Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
THE ST JAMES Ministers Fraternal has joined forces with Pastor Conrad Pitkin of the Faith Temple Assemblies of God in Montego Bay, in declaring total opposition to any consideration being given to repealing Jamaica's existing buggery law.
"I join with you (Reverend Pitkin) and your colleagues wholeheartedly, as a person and as an association (minister's fraternal), in the fight against the consideration of the repeal of the buggery law," said Reverend Glendon Powell, chairman of the St James Ministers Fraternal and pastor of Flanker Open Bible Church.
Powell, who was addressing Sunday night's Diamond Jubilee (75th anniversary) commemorative Service of the Faith Temple Assemblies, said the Bible stands as the moral authority of the church and nation, and the fraternal was strident in its stance that biblical principles must ultimately be observed and upheld as the standard for the nation.
"The Bible is still our guidebook," said Reverend Powell. "...so we stand on the principles of the Bible, and we will continue to stand on the principles of the Bible, and we will not surrender, and we will not bow to anything that the Bible is opposed to. The fight may not be easy, but it is necessary."
Pastor Pitkin and his Associate Pastor Everton Lawrence recently denounced the lobbying efforts by gay rights activists to have the buggery law repealed, while affirming the churches unwavering stance against the buggery, which the church considers to be non-Christian.
Local television stations, Television Jamaica and CVM Television, have been harshly criticised by gay rights advocacy group, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays, for refusing to broadcast a public-service announcement from the group, calling for a repeal of the buggery law.
Only recently, the New York-based Human Rights Watch wrote to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, calling for a repeal of the buggery law after an incident in Jones Town, Kingston, in which an angry crowd converged on a house where five homosexuals were staying with a view of doing them harm.
According to Section 76 of the Offences Against the Person Act of 1864, a maximum sentence of 10 years can be issued for the committing the crime of buggery.
During the leadership debate in the lead-up to last December's general election, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (then opposition leader) spoke out against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and intimated a possible review of Jamaica's buggery law.