BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau email@example.com
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Chairman of the St James Ministers' Fraternal Rev Glendon Powell says there has been an overwhelming response to tomorrow's anti-gay protest in the historic Sam Sharpe Square.
"The response has been very, very good. We expect people from all different denominations from across western Jamaica to be in attendance," Rev Powell told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Dubbed 'Western Jamaica Mercy Cry', the prayer meeting is being staged ahead of Monday's hearing of an application challenging the constitutionality of the buggery law in the Supreme Court.
The claim was filed by United States-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World on behalf of Jamaican Javed Jaghai. The group is asking the court to determine if the anti-sodomy law breaches rights guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which was passed into law in 2011.
Speaking at a press conference earlier this week at the Trumpet Call Ministries International, The Meeting Place Church, a resolute Rev Powell stressed that the group is firmly against any amendment to the buggery law.
"If the law is changed, society will change, because society is governed by law. Our children will be taught that unions of two men or two women are normal and good, and there's nothing that we will be able to do about it, because the law will now enforce this secular agenda," Rev Powell explained.
He argued that the fraternal has no doubt that a repeal or amendment to the buggery law wlould be "the final straw that will bring on this nation the wrath of God".
"God has not changed, we have seen it in the past that when unrighteousness pervades and the church is silent, it opens the door for further moral decay and ultimately for God's judgement. It is, therefore, the obligation and mandate of the church to speak out and to warn the people of the impending judgement of God. If the church does not do this, the blood will be upon our head," he stressed.
And Rev Carriel Graham, an executive member of the St James Ministers' Fraternal, emphasised that the group would not compromise its anti-gay stance.
"We will not compromise; we will not bow, we will not break. The St James Ministers' Fraternal has always obeyed God and we will continue to stand up for that," he told reporters.
Another member, Rev Marc Mullings, said while the group recognises the need to reach out and love those who struggle with same -sex attraction, it opposes the practice of homosexual acts on biblical, medical and social grounds.
"We stand resolute on the word of God and we stand against the practice of homosexuality," he argued.
Meanwhile, the fraternal said it would also be using tomorrow's event to highlight the many ills in the society.
"We believe that our nation is in crisis, and it is time to stand up against moral decay and gross degradation," the fraternal said, citing crime and violence, inhumane acts against our children, suicides and sexual deviations, as contributing factors to "the escalating mess in the country".