VIDEO: Portia promises to review buggery law

BY CONRAD HAMILTON Observer senior reporter hamiltonc@jamaicaobserver.com

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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