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ONLINE READERS COMMENT: Holness changed the political narrative on LGBT in one phrase

Thursday, April 19, 2018

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness may have upended the political narrative in one phrase — “not my business” — removing any illusion that there is a divide between the two major political parties on whether LGBT Jamaicans can serve in public office and whether their human rights as citizens should be respected and protected by the Government of this country.

The prime minister is right. Jamaica is evolving and attitudes are shifting. Whether or not some in the society would want to admit it, LGBT Jamaicans are here and will continue to be here and the country must deal with it.

What was particularly striking about the prime minister's statement was that it didn't just address the issue of buggery provisions but spoke broadly to the inherent dignity and worth of Jamaican citizens who happen to be LGBT.

Essentially, the prime minister spoke about the fundamental right of LGBT Jamaicans to hold public office, the right to work and a private family life. Discrimination against LGBT Jamaicans has for a long time been a threat to their right to employment, housing and privacy of family life.

To address these threats to the fundamental rights of LGBT Jamaicans, the prime minister should continue to take the lead on this issue in partnership with the Opposition, who share with him a similar position: to create home grown and meaningful change in the status quo by not only focusing on the buggery law but tackling discrimination in our culture and in other laws and policies where they might exist.

Kevonne Martin

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