26 May 2008

No Gays in Jamaican Cabinet

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding said he would not allow gays in his Cabinet. He told BBC television he has the right to make that decision and to form a Cabinet that represents the Jamaican people. Jamaica will not allow outside groups to impose their values, he said on Monday while on an official visit to London. The Jamaican Observer both reports on the interview and responds to the "great-white shark of British broadcasting Stephen Sackur" interview with the Prime Minister here.

Such statements incite more violence against gays, said Jason McFarlane, a spokesman for Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG).

Last year in the run up to the elections Bruce Golding dismissed any notion of lifting a draconian ban on homosexuality. Golding said the the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), was not prepared to challenge the anti-gay status quo. "Let us be very clear," Golding told the Jamaica Sunday Observer. "There are some countries that are prepared to overturn tradition and culture in the interest of what they regard as individual freedoms and to do so at the instance of the homosexual fraternity, which comprises a minority in the population. You will find this pretty prevalent in Europe. We (the JLP) are not prepared to go in that direction, we intend to uphold the laws of the country." Golding concedes that people should be allowed to do what they like in the privacy of their homes. "We don't believe that the state should be pushing down people's bedroom doors to find what they do there, because, if you push it down today to enforce laws that relate to sexual activity, you will push it down tomorrow for some other purpose. So we are not going there," he said.

Elections in Jamaica were held on September 3rd 2007 with JLP who were the opposition party gaining a slim victory against the Peoples National Party (PNP) headed by Portia Simpson-Miller. The PNP had been in Government for 18 years. The Jamican Labour party is aligned to conservatism despite it's name whilst the PNP is a socialist democratic party.

No comments: