Letters to the Editor

Bruce leading us into expensive nightmare

Friday, November 05, 2010    

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Dear Editor,

Within the past two months leaders of two Caribbean countries have joined the call for the decriminalisation of buggery as an effective way to tackle the region's HIV epidemic. At a recent UWI Cave Hill conference on HIV and Human Rights, Attorney Freundel Stuart, the new prime minister of Barbados, said that "even if rather than responding to nature's promptings, (gays) were pursuing this lifestyle as a result of nurture, in which case they may have been exercising some measure of choice, the right to choose in these circumstances was protected by the constitution..." At the recent Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS 10th AGM, the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas said it was time to revisit these discriminatory laws, despite the political overtones.

It is clear that these two regional leaders have accepted that there will be political implications to proposing the decriminalisation of buggery in their countries, but they are at least willing to lead the crucial discussions to support their national fights against HIV and AIDS.

Such bold leadership contrasts with our own Prime Minister Bruce Golding who is also the current Caricom chairman. Despite the fact that Jamaica is facing the loss of funding from the Global Fund to fight this expensive incurable disease, he appears unwilling to set aside his obvious religious bias and have a frank discussion about decriminalisation of buggery. In an interview at the United Nations in September, he actually justified the retention of the anti-buggery law in keeping with our "real fears" that the Jamaican family will be destroyed if adult gays are legally allowed to engage in their private consensual acts. Really, PM? Is that the best you can do? Once again your now legendary stubbornness seems set to doom Jamaica to an expensive nightmare.

Maurice Tomlinson

Montego Bay, St James






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