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'Shun gay lifestyle' - South African pastor warns Ja about homosexual lobby

Published:Monday | December 10, 2012
Justice minister, Mark Golding

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

A SOUTH African pastor on the weekend urged Jamaicans to become militant against acts of homosexuality, saying condoning such behaviours could lead to consequences of enormous proportions.

Pearl Kupe, who is also an attorney-at-law, was speaking at an international conference on human rights, international law and the family, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on Saturday.

"The LGBT group in South Africa doesn't only enjoy rights that every ordinary citizen has, but they have special rights and privileges," Kupe said.

South Africa's post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. In December 2006, the country became the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage. The country is considered a haven for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

"What we are seeing here is a nation that is hungry for power and will do anything to gain such power, even if it means isolating themselves from moral standards," Kupe told the conference.

She added: "They are willing to trade ethics, morality and values in exchange for global power and we cannot allow these things to infiltrate your country."

Jamaica's justice minister, Mark Golding, was guarded in his response when asked by The Gleaner to comment on Kupe's presentation.

"It's a very delicate issue because we don't want to endorse lifestyles that are not grounded in Christian values, but there are very compelling arguments on both sides," Golding said.

"On the table right now is the repeal of the buggery law which we have to carefully analyse, so I really don't want to say to much right now," he added.

Kupe had used her presentation to
appeal to members of the Church and civil society to help counter the
spread of the homosexual lifestyle.

"We are not here
by coincidence, this was ordained by God," Kupe
said.

"We have to come together and get the
stakeholders involved and mobilise the media because we can't leave here
without coming up with a response plan because we are heading in a
deadly direction."

Kupe said a LGBT charter, which is
being considered in South Africa, is seeking to promote the universal
acceptance of the gay lifestyle. She also claimed it is seeking to
discredit anything or organisations that condemn
homosexuality.

"What is happening now is that there is
a strategy to get homosexuals in the schools and to also perpetuate
homosexual propaganda at every opportunity," Kupe
said.

"The LGBT is actually advocating for the
teaching of homosexual behaviours in the schools, so I'm not just
talking about education of homosexuals but making it an option in our
schools," Kupe added.

The reverend lawyer also claims
that homosexual behaviours are prevalent within places of
worship.

"It is unlawful to discriminate against
lesbian and gay men in church, mosque, temple, synagogues or other
places of worship. This includes the right to worship at a place of
their choice, right to be a member or a minister of religion regardless
of sexual orientation," she said.

"But I want to make
it clear that God is not a God of equality but a God of justice and, as
Christians here in Jamaica, you have to make it known that Jamaica
belongs to Jesus," she said.

Children at
risk

In the meantime, Betty Ann Blaine, convenor of
Hear the Children's Cry, urged Jamaicans to say no to
homosexuality.

"One of the threats to Jamaica is the
argument to repeal of our buggery law, which is a challenge to all of
us, not just Christians," Blaine said.

She added: "We
can't possibly repeal the buggery law precisely at the same time when
more and more of our children are being
buggered."

During the run-up to last year's general
election, Portia Simpson Miller, now prime minister, said she would
support a conscience vote in Parliament on whether the buggery law
should be repealed.

Blaine said she is not prepared to
sit back and allow Parliament alone to decide on the
matter.

"I'm prepared to take this to the streets
because the Parliament will not decide this. Any repeal to the buggery
law must be be taken as a referendum and it's the people who must decide
this," she said.

Jamaican gay activist Maurice
Tomlinson yesterday described Kupe's address as "typical of the fear
mongering that fundamentalists engage in to deny the human rights of
homosexuals".

"Few, if any of their assertions, are
supported by logic or evidence," Tomlinson said in an emailed response
to The Gleaner.

According to
Tomlinson, "Jamaica will continue to drive this vulnerable group
underground with deadly consequences for public order and public health"
if the human rights of homosexuals are ignored.

"Most
tragically, homophobia forces some gay men to form relationships with
women. This exposes the women, men, and any children of these unions, to
untold physical and psychological harm. It is high time the Government
showed leadership and put an end to this fanatical intolerance by
reading down the anti-buggery law to decriminalise the private acts of
consenting adults," Tomlinson
said.

- jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com