The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) has thrown its weight behind the 25,000 strong Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s position that utilisation of the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” should not be normalised in the education sector.
On December 11, 2023, JTA President Leighton Johnson, in calling for open discussions on the matter, said while the issue is not yet mainstream in Jamaica, the association is unbending in its stance that the natural line of distinction between sexes cannot be blurred by modern definitions.
Gender identity, according to the World Health Organization, “refers to a person’s deeply felt, internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond to the person’s physiology or designated sex at birth”.
According to the JTA head, subscribing to that definition would spell chaos for Jamaica.
“Let’s look at the implications of all of this: In our country we have schools that are gender-based, we have all-female schools, we have all-male schools… if, as a nation, we were to subscribe to this new definition of what gender is based on — one’s intuition based on how one feels at a particular time — then this has serious implications for how we operate as an education sector,” he told Tyrell Morgan, host of virtual talk show Heart to Heart, at the time.
“These are the conversations we must have. As a nation, the Church, and any other group, we need to continue to stand against this kind of thinking. Of course, there are those who will want to promote this modern thinking, there are those who would indicate that our position is archaic and outdated and doesn’t have a basis, but I would continue to promote the thinking that we are a Christian nation and it is the Bible that defines our morality,” the JTA president said.
On Monday this week, the JCHS, in a statement to the Observer, said it “firmly stands” with Johnson in rejecting the acceptance or utilisation of the terms sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in the education sector.
According to the coalition, SOGI is neither accepted in Jamaican law nor in any binding international treaty.
“The terms ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ are based on false and flawed ideas. A person’s sex is either male or female and is determined from conception. No matter what a person may feel about him or herself, sex can never be changed. It is biologically and medically impossible,” JCHS head Dr Wayne West asserted.
According to Dr West, “To affirm that a man can become a woman, or a woman can become a man by undergoing surgeries or taking hormones is to aid and abet someone’s confusion and delusion. Such a person needs sound counselling support to regain a correct sense of self.”
“Furthermore, homosexual and bisexual sexual preferences are abnormal and run against design and purpose of the natural order of the universe,” the JCHS president asserted.
He further argued that “the societal chaos that would result from introducing those terms into law and policy is not imagined but can be clearly seen in the experiences of other nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada which have normalised those terms”.
According to Dr West, such countries have found themselves in deeper problems by normalising these terms.
“In accepting gender identity, males who feel they are female are being allowed to use female bathrooms, play on female sports teams, and in Canada convicted male sex offenders are permitted to transfer to female prisons, putting the female inmates are risk for sexual assault by the male imposters,” Dr West argued.
“Sexual orientation is undefined and potentially unlimited in its scope, going beyond homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual and can include other criminally prohibited behaviours such as incest, paedophilia and bestiality,” the JCHS head warned.
Legal counsel for the JCHS, attorney Shirley Richards, in the meantime said the use of the word “gender” to classify humans is extremely suspect.
“Of note is that there is no constitutional basis for use of the word gender in this manner. The report of the Joint Constitutional Committee, 2001, which oversaw public discussion on, and deliberated on the amendments to the constitution, namely the Charter of Rights, recognised that gender refers to the grammatical classification of nouns and related words. However, the word ‘sex’ is the more appropriate designation for humans. The resulting section 13 (3) (i)) in the Charter of Rights therefore expressly provides for one classification of humans, namely, sex being either male or female,” Richards pointed out.
In the meantime, JCHS Advocacy Officer Philippa Davies said most individuals are in the dark as to the popularisation of the terms and the ill effects.
“Most persons are unaware that it was in the 1960-70s that Dr John Money (1921-2006) popularised the terms ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity’. He was among the pioneers of the now discredited practice of sex ‘reassignment’ surgery and was a proponent of paedophilia,” Davies said.
“His most famous and disastrous experiment was to force the parents of Bruce Reimer to raise the boy as a girl, while Money routinely sexually traumatised Bruce and his twin brother as children. This experiment ended tragically with both brothers becoming severely mentally distressed and committing suicide two years apart while still in their 30s. The mainstreaming of the word ‘gender’ in various policy documents and programmes in Jamaica has really been based on grammatical inaccuracy and a sordid history,” she declared.
The JCHS is, in the meantime, urging Government ministries, agencies and departments “to bring their activities and programme titles in line with the constitution by replacing ‘gender’ with sex” and thus avoiding what it says is “the undesirable association with an unethical history in the false description of humans as a ‘gender’.”