Church march was no anti-gay rally

Friday, July 11, 2014

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Dear Editor,

I wish to thank the Jamaica Observer for giving Jamaicans comprehensive coverage on the values-based march that was held in Half-Way-Tree on Sunday, June 29.

Based on comments in some sections of the media, several columnists have the wrong impression of the aims of the march. Some persons have referred to the march as an "anti-gay rally". This is not true as the organisers at no time indicated they were having an "anti-gay rally".

Part of the reason for the rally was for Jamaicans to show that they were in support of the retention of the law against buggery. How can support for this stance be deemed anti-gay? The anti-buggery law does not target homosexuals; the law applies to heterosexuals as well.

Some persons have stressed the role of evangelical Christians in organising and implementing the march. They fail to mention that the event attracted support, not only from evangelical Christians but from other religious groups as well. Many of the persons who came out to the rally had no religious affiliation and could be described as secularists.

Therefore, terms such as "fundamentalists and evangelical Christians" are quite misleading and lead one to question whether or not there is a deliberate attempt to narrowly describe the massive support witnessed in Half-Way-Tree.

Some analysts are trying to paint the rally in political stripes, claiming that it was hostile to the governing party. Based on the reports from the march, I am yet to see any hostility towards the governing party. I am sure many of the marchers are supporters of the PNP and were simply reminding the prime minister of her promise to have the members of parliament consult with their constituents on this important matter before any conscience vote is held in Parliament.

The broad-based support seen in Half-Way-Tree had no political leaning, therefore, columnists and analysts should not try to invent one.

There is always a cry about the lack of interest in the political process, so any call for more persons to be enumerated should be supported by all the political parties. Persons vote for their political leaders for a plurality of reasons and, of course for some, the values espoused by those seeking to represent them are important. Therefore, the current MPs need to listen keenly to those whom they have been elected to serve.

Marsha Thomas




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