Homosexuality: the long, painful search for workable rules of engagement
THE search for viable rules of engagement between homosexual and heterosexual Jamaicans will, regrettably, be a long, arduous and painful one, we think.
In common with nearly every country across the globe, Jamaicans are agonising over whether homosexuality is to be accepted as normal or aberrational, and we don't, in this space, expect any considerable narrowing of the gap any time soon.
But what we can reasonably expect is tolerance of the different lifestyles, while the search continues to find a way to live together as Jamaicans without the current 'war' over an issue which is still so little understood on both sides.
As a newspaper which was founded on the principles of freedom of choice, starting with the freedom of expression, we have, in the past, encouraged Jamaicans to endeavour to resolve the issue of homosexuality and the so-called buggery law as a family in which there are difficult differences, but which, at the end of the day, must come back together in order to move forward and realise the wholesome development of each member.
We hold steadfast, with the unwavering support of our publisher, to the position that all Jamaicans must be free to choose to live their sexuality in conformity with the laws of the land, recognising that sexuality, at best, is a complex human quality that is difficult to negotiate. As such, no Jamaican should be discriminated against because they are homosexuals.
In the same vein, we believe that all Jamaicans, including entertainers, have the right to hold views against homosexuality without discrimination.
Where entertainers are concerned, we make a strong distinction between those who are simply expressing their right to their heterosexual preference and those who are advocating intolerance and violence against gays and lesbians. We have no lot or part with the latter group.
We uphold the right of the Jamaican church to take a stand against homosexuality, but at the same time we expect that as a unit of compassion, spreading a gospel of love, the church will embrace homosexual and heterosexual members in the completeness of Christ's mission of salvation. In other words, Christ came to seek and to save all who were lost.
For our part, we will continue to report the news relating to homosexuality and the gay community, as we do with all other communities, with fairness, balance and good taste, buttressed by accuracy. Where we go wrong we will quickly correct such wrongs and offer opportunities for redress.
Our columns remain open to all and sundry who have a view to express on both sides of the debate. What we ask is that our readers approach the discussion with open-mindedness, tolerance, decency, and the recognition that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.