Holness's 'Not my business' changes the political narrative

Monday, April 23, 2018

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Dear Editor,

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 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 the buggery provisions, but spoke broadly to the inherent dignity and worth of the Jamaican citizens who happen to be LGBT. Essentially, the prime minister spoke about the fundamental right of LGBT Jamaicans to hold public office, to work, and have a private family life.

Discrimination against LGBT Jamaicans has for a long time threatened LGBT Jamaicans' 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, which shares with him a similar position, to create meaningful change in the status quo by not only focusing on the buggery law, but also tackling discrimination in our culture and in other laws and policies where they might exist.

Kevonne Martin


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