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Most Jamaicans would kick out their gay children

Published:Monday | April 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Almost half of Jamaicans say they would throw their children out of their homes for being gay, resurrecting the issue of homelessness reportedly affecting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Jamaica.

The finding is contained in the 2015 Awareness, Attitude & Perception Survey about Issues Related to Same Sex Relationships.

The survey of employers, politicians, and members of the general public was done between June and July last year by Market Research Services for Jamaica's leading gay lobby, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG).

Forty-seven per cent of the 942 people who made up the general public cohort indicated that they would not allow their child to live in their houses if he or she was gay or lesbian.

Seventeen per cent was indifferent, and the remaining 36 per cent said they would allow their gay child to remain in the household.

That view is cemented by the 75 per cent of the general public who say they would feel uncomfortable living with gays.


Employers and politicians, however, shared a contrasting position when questioned whether they would allow their gay child to stay at home. Fifty-two per cent of the 33 politicians said they would keep their gay child.

A higher percentage (57) said they would allow their gay children to remain in their household; the rest were either indifferent or completely disagreed.

Meanwhile, even if some Jamaicans would allow their gay children to remain in the household, most of them, according to the survey, were indifferent to, or totally disagreed with, allowing any mixing with their siblings.

In 2013, following the police-removal of alleged homeless gays from sections of upper St Andrew, J-FLAG argued that LGBT identity in Jamaica was "shaped and coloured by displacement".

The lobby said then that the Government was not doing enough to respond to homelessness and called for a specific strategy to deal with the situation.

The general attitude by Jamaican households towards gays should not be surprising given that the 2015 survey has also pointed to increasing levels of 'hatred' for homosexuals, as well as a stagnant low level of tolerance.

The survey involved a sample group of 1,003 comprising 33 politicians, 28 employers, and 942 people from the general populace. It covered all parishes and has a margin of error of plus/minus three per cent.