VIDEO: Portia promises to review buggery law

BY CONRAD HAMILTON Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


President of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller is promising to review the country’s buggery law if she is returned as prime minister of Jamaica.

The pronouncement came last night as she faced Prime Minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness in the third and final political debate convened by the Jamaica Debates Commission.

It also comes amidst the intensification of discussions on the matter.

“We should have a look at the buggery law,” said Simpson Miller in response to a question on gay rights.

She also challenged a previous pronouncement by former prime minister Bruce Golding who told a BBC TV interviewer some years ago that no gays could serve in his Cabinet.

Simpson Miller said she was not in favour of such a position and suggested that persons should be selected for Cabinet duties on the basis of their capacity to deliver.

Responding to the same question, Holness articulated the need for Jamaica to achieve minimum standards governing human rights and suggested that such steps were being taken through measures such as the passage of the Bill of Rights.

He added that any change to the existing legislation should be made on the basis of due consideration to the views of the people.

“We are an open society and the issues that are difficult and uncomfortable to discuss, as the society progresses, these issues are being discussed. People are entitled to their opinions but as leader of the country I have to respect everybody’s opinion (and) make sure that the institutions of freedom are well in place so that the debate can continue,” said Holness.

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Tone Bag
12/22/2011 - 7:34 AM
Thought I was staunchly homophobic perhaps not I dont like to see disadvantage being taken particularly when scriptures are used to justify it Despite God's retribution meted out to them in Sodom Jesus' reply today perhaps would be Let the wheat and the tare grow together until the day of harvest Although they will rise to prominence in JAs public life Raymond Pryce has all the mannerisms yet seems intelligent perhaps a potential leader All sin is sin Preach against the sin but dont discriminate
wanda woeman
12/22/2011 - 6:30 AM
@fiona corder B.G. said he wouldn't have any gays in his cabinet. That was another lie and you well know it. All those who are talking nonsense on here will know that Portia and A.H. both said essentially the same thing.
God will get you all for dishonesty. As someone on here said, it is a good thing that all of us who were interested got to see the debate for ourselves.and did not have to wait on the media spin.
Who do some bloggers twist everything?. Winning at all cost...right?
Phil Oiseaubay
12/22/2011 - 2:17 AM
Remove buggery law and marginalization of gays, then you have greater resources to tap in order to address real issues affecting J'ca.
kirk James
12/21/2011 - 4:21 PM
It is God who rise up leaders and take down leaders, Portia will never be the Prime Minister of Jamaica . Jamaica must not bow to USA , we must live by Gods Law and do not allow this unnatural act . Portia clearly will give these people who commit the unatural act the rights to do this in our Country.
Rush Pope
12/21/2011 - 3:48 PM
She gave a smart response to the question. She never said that she would repeal the Buggery Act. Go listen again those who failed to listen. Mona Lisa take note!!!!!!!
fiona corder
12/21/2011 - 2:52 PM
Portia did not go with any knowledge and experience, she went with prepared notes... I guess every conference she will attend on behalf of Jamaica if she becomes Prime Minister she will have to ask the other heads of states to submit their questions first... lol
fiona corder
12/21/2011 - 2:50 PM
All hail queen Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller... the new leader of the BMP
fiona corder
12/21/2011 - 2:49 PM
All hail Queen Portia the new leader of the BMP... lol... she turn di comerades eena laughing stock
Hugh Maxwell
12/21/2011 - 2:07 PM
Just in case we do not know. If ever buggery law could be repealed in JA. It would have to be done under a woman PM and a parliament with mostly women.This Jamaican parliament voting to have the present situation regarding our buggery laws to change is unlikely. But the comments of both leaders was credible in my view. Cool
mona lisa
12/21/2011 - 1:57 PM
PSM im a pnp and proud to be one dont let me loose buggery law my foot.... in St Matthew it says a man with a man doing that which is unseemly is an abomination... i rest my case
Jakan 2011
12/21/2011 - 1:40 PM
People, please read and LISTEN for yourselves. I did not hear her make such a promise. Go listen for yourselves
Tom Stroke
12/21/2011 - 1:23 PM
Mr Holness in my view gave an excellent answer to the question. What I find strange about Mama P’s response is that the familiar overused response that she would embark on consultations was not used. I wonder why. In fact she thought that the buggery law would be a conscience vote by parliamentarians rather than the sentiments of the country. In other words if Mama P and her colleagues in parliament are happy with the removal of the law, then the law will be removed. This I find very curious. Is Jamaica ready to have such law removed? Should it be solely left up to a decision by parliamentarians? Very interesting.
aneita williams
12/21/2011 - 1:12 PM
The buggery law is a serious issue. most Jamaicans are against an amendment to that law. she could lose a lot voters for that statement. ( Christians ET AL).
What surprises me is that some are saying Portia won what rubbish!! She was nervous at the start repeating herself and then totally ignored a question.
Both failed because they were too general in their responses, but Andrew was the better. He was confident clear and precise
William Muth
12/21/2011 - 1:08 PM
@ghost rider- xcellent advice to all media on impartiality. I lived in Canada for 30+ yrs. Male/female gays have been elected at every level of gov't & held ministerial offices. Not aware of any that lost their position because of their sexual orientation or indiscretion. Yet, I am aware of 2 situations where straights(1 male, 1 female in separate incidents) resigned Federal ministerial positions because of sexual scandals. Let ability count & Ja. will benefit. Never had a prob working with gays
Jay Brown
12/21/2011 - 1:04 PM
Anything to win an election, right?
Chris Williams
12/21/2011 - 12:18 PM
It is a very good thing that most Jamaicans were watching the debate for themselves and saw the context in which Portia made those remarks. If we were to depend on this newspaper to update us then we would be greatly mislead. I know that Portia was by no means suggesting that Jamaica will embrace homosexuality. This was misrepresentation of the facts.
adi gryan
12/21/2011 - 10:50 AM
I am not surprised that Porshia won with her knowledge and experience of politics my bet was on her and in my opinion she won by about 20% over Andrew . Andrew is an intelligent man who deserved to serve this country but the party he served is a failure to him in my opinion he will loose this election. I awaits others opinion remember people are entitle to their own opinion lets have a fair discussion. If mr holness wins I still think he will fix the JLP which would result a better Jamaica.
Unknown Unknown
12/21/2011 - 10:36 AM
Someone with a brain!
0o k
12/21/2011 - 9:12 AM
I guess this is a clear break from Comrade Leader P.J. Patterson, when asked about removal of the buggery law said......I am nat in dat!
Tourism should pick up under a New Comrade Government......Gay Cruises anyone?
adi gryan
12/21/2011 - 9:02 AM
I am not surprised that Porshia won with her knowledge and experience of politics my bet was on her and in my opinion she won by about 20% over Andrew . Andrew is an intelligent man who deserved to serve this country but the party he served is a failure to him in my opinion he will loose this election. I awaits others opinion remember people are entitle to their own opinion lets have a fair discussion. If mr holness wins I still think he will fix the JLP which would result a better Jamaica.
ghost rider
12/21/2011 - 7:19 AM
Observer, why do you try so hard? The thing is that the more you try the more people are seeing you for what you are.
What essentially has Mrs. S-M said different from what Mr. Holness said to merit that caption? I think a more deserving caption would have been "Leaders soften stance on homosexuality," don't you think? Our vines have tender grapes as you might well find.
You are certainly squeezing out everything you can get.
And why this fixation on Bunting in your cartoons? Lighten up.