Dismayed at MoBay mayor's decision

Monday, October 14, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I write in support of Maurice Tomlinson and Montego Bay Pride which have been denied access to use the Montego Bay Cultural Centre for a series of public events scheduled to take place as part of the 2019 Montego Bay Pride activities. I understand that the current mayor of Montego Bay is the individual responsible for denying this group access to the building.

After reading, online, the rationale offered by the mayor for making his decision, I am alarmed and dismayed that in 2019 public officials in Jamaica are still allowed to discriminate against people who, as taxpayers, have a legitimate right to stage a public event in a public space.

While I understand that the mayor may have personal and religious objections to this group, I am disappointed that he was not able to see beyond these objections and not allow them to interfere with his professional and civic duties. The mayor has a duty to protect the rights of all citizens of Montego Bay and not just the ones who happen to share his particular personal or religious views. I would remind him that he is the mayor of the city and not pastor of the city.

The bigotry and discrimination which this decision exposes underscores the need for Mr Tomlinson and organisations such as Montego Bay Pride to hold events such as these in Jamaica. It is obvious that much remains to be done to ensure that all Jamaicans are treated equally in Jamaica. It is apparent that the motto 'Out of Many, One People', does not yet apply to all Jamaicans.

Patrick L Lawson

patrickllawson@yahoo.com


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