THE EDITOR, Sir:
Thanks to the Rev Clinton Chisholm for his letter ('Keep bedroom antics to yourself!') in The Gleaner of October 30, 2013.
I believe there are some salient points of the constitutional claim seeking to 'read down' the anti-buggery law which you may have missed. Lack of knowledge on these points may have caused you to raise the 'red herring' of public sex in your letter. Such a claim has never been raised by gay Jamaicans. Permit me to enlighten you about the facts of the case.
First, this matter was brought by a young man, Javed Jaghai, who was evicted because his landlady suspected that he was gay. In her words, the mere fact of his homosexuality meant he would be engaging in an illegal activity on the premises.
Had there been no law criminalising the private acts of consenting adults, this sort of arbitrary eviction would not have been possible. The case makes no attempt to encourage or legalise public sex.
Further, the Jamaican courts have used the anti-buggery law to sentence consenting adults engaging in private acts of intimacy. One such example is the case of two adult men, aged 52 and 60, who were convicted for having intercourse in their bedroom. Please see the Jamaica STAR report of this incident: http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20050722/news/news3.html
The simple fact of being a suspected homosexual gives licence for extortion by police, mob home invasions by citizens, and other atrocities.
The CVM TV news clip below also shows police on October 15 attempting to burn out homeless gays forced to live in the sewers of New Kingston.
It is telling that no church group has come forward with offers of assistance for these young men or condemning the continued abuse they suffer. Instead, Rev Chisholm's letter appears to essentially blame consenting adult gays for daring to believe that they have a right to private acts of intimacy. I hope this is not a disingenuous attempt to deflect attention from the fact that homosexual Jamaicans are increasingly being victimised as a result of anti-gay animus being whipped up by fundamentalist religious leaders in advance of Javed's case.