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Jamaicans making it difficult for gays to stay with one partner?

ONE of the world's leading bioethics publications, Developing World Bioethics Journal, says Jamaicans are making it difficult for men who have sex with men (MSM) to be monogamous. The publication also suggested that Health Minister Rudyard Spencer is unhappy with the fact that his government "continues to support legislation that contributes significantly to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among MSM". Following are excerpts from the recently published article:

"It is tempting to feel sorry for Jamaica's Health Minister, the Hon Rudyard Spencer. There he is, trying his best to do his job, and, among other urgent health matters, reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in his nation.

Unfortunately, on his own account, this is proving to be next to impossible unless Jamaicans change their cultural attitudes to — you guessed it — sex. The Jamaican Ministry of Health's website quotes him with these eminently sensible concerns about specific attitudes:

"These include a widely held belief that sex with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS, the high level of sexual relations between older men and young girls and a persistently hostile anti-gay environment which all contribute to the stigmatisation and discrimination of infected and affected persons. A strong religious culture also inhibits open discussion on matters of sexuality... We too need to begin the process of unlearning those beliefs that endanger the health lives of others and rethinking the tendency to be obscene and degrading in rejecting values that conflict with our own..."

Public health experts are very familiar with the long-standing conflict between a utilitarian approach to harm minimisation and harm reduction and a cultural context that prizes firmness in the 'fight against drugs' over demonstrably positive health outcomes for individual drug users. It seems as if this same culture war is being played out in the Caribbean where centuries old religious teachings on sex take precedent over the insights of 20th and 21st century sex research.

"A bit of pertinent background on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica: a 2008 study commissioned by the Ministry of Health concluded that about 31.8 per cent of men who have sex with other men (MSM) are HIV infected in the island state. There is a strong correlation between men being HIV infected and them belonging to lower socio-economic groups, and them having been victims of anti-gay violence. The number of AIDS deaths per year is decreasing because the country has begun the rollout of anti-retroviral medicines.

"Jamaica reports the second-highest HIV-prevalence rate among MSM in the world, right after another notorious violator of the human rights of gay people, Kenya.

Homosexual men in Jamaica rarely ever live in monogamous relationships because of the security risks involved in living with a member of the same sex over longer periods in the same household. This is partly a result of colonial legislation prohibiting same sexual activities among men... The flowery prose under the heading 'Unnatural Offences' is sufficiently antiquated:

"Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding 10 years... Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, with or without hard labour.

"Up to 10 years at hard labour for a mature-age man who has voluntary sex with another consenting adult male is a fairly draconian penalty for a self-regarding act.

One justification for this law is hidden under that well-known Christian natural law moniker of 'unnatural'. There is no such a thing as unnatural conduct. If something is physically possible it is very much within the laws of nature, and therefore by necessity it is natural. The phraseology of the 'unnatural' explains or justifies nothing. However, normatively nothing follows from this trivial insight.

"Many natural things are not desirable, natural conduct can be unethical, even criminal. Furthermore, as is well known among legal philosophers, even if such behaviour were 'unnatural', and even if we declared it unethical, nothing would follow with regard to the question of whether or not it should be illegal. The Jamaican law is not making a case for why same sex sexual conduct between consenting male adults is problematic, and why it is legislated against.

"Declaring homosexual conduct unnatural is arguably unintelligible and it begs the question of why the law exists to begin with. For good measure 'abominable' has been added to this 'crime'. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary enlightens us that the 14th century originated adjective 'abominable' means that something is variously disagreeable or unpleasant or worthy of causing disgust or hatred. All of these are terrible foundations on which to build sound moral judgments. Finding something disagreeable or unpleasant is insufficient to make it illegal...

"No doubt, plenty of Jamaicans hate gay people, but how does that provide a justification in terms of outlawing same sex sexual conduct among consenting adults? One does not have to be an old-fashioned liberal in the tradition of John Stuart Mill to realise that the criminal law has no right to interfere with important self-regarding actions of consenting adults. Surely, by any stretch of imagination, our sexuality determines, to a significant extent, who we are.

"Jamaica today finds itself in a difficult situation. Sectarian religious mores have been enshrined in law by its former colonial master, and have since been duly maintained as the gospel by generations of Jamaican politicians. The US-based human rights organisation Human Rights Watch published a report a few years ago highlighting the pervasive nature of oftentimes violent homophobia in Jamaica. The price MSM are paying in Jamaica for this situation is very significant indeed, as can be demonstrated by the extraordinarily high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among this group of Jamaicans.

"Unsurprisingly, research has shown that gay Jamaicans are reluctant to present with health problems that could disclose their sexual orientation to health care providers out of fear of reprisals by health care professionals and others...

"...Many Jamaican MSM patients' reluctance to consult health care professionals is indicative of the climate in the country. It cannot surprise then that the country's health minister laments the harmful impact of existing legislation on reasonable public health objectives. In his government's report on HIV/AIDS to the United Nations General Assembly (2010) he (Spencer) explicitly acknowledges the problems this legislation is causing:

The political framework towards HIV has not changed. With outdated laws that present obstacles for adolescents, SW (sex workers), MSM and prison inmates, prevention and treatment efforts to these populations are not able to be fully maximised.

"The existing political framework has also been implicated in contributing to the stigma and discrimination faced by MSM. Several efforts have been made in this area, however, through the review of laws that stand as obstacles to prevention, but to date no major achievements are noted in this aspect of political support. Enlightened politicians such as Jamaica's Health Minister Spencer and his staff find themselves in an unenviable situation. They are representing or working for a government that continues to support legislation that contributes significantly to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among MSM.

"Unlike in South Africa where church leaders have come together to support efforts aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS, in Jamaica, church leaders are busy trying to preserve the homophobic climate and legislative framework that helped bring about some of the public health problems the country faces today. It will be interesting to see how the situation will evolve in Jamaica..."

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Comment by BigginsMarie on April 18, 2011 at 5:08pm

Now, I have a question I've been mulling over since your last commeent. My question is : Why should straight people care that gay relationships aren't staying together?


Why is that A) Anyone elses business? B) Anyone elses problem? Gay guys especially are always having sex with married men and yeah, destroying families. That male hooker Mr. Cee was messing with didn't care that Mr. Cee was married. Some of these guys have Aids and other diseases, know the dummy they messing with is married, and have no problem giving him the disease so he can take it to their wives/other lovers. But now this article says "

Jamaicans making it difficult for gays to stay with one partner?


And I just wonder why "So what?" doesn't seem to be a viable response. Now, I personally love to see a happy couple and gay or straight, because anytime two human beings are together doing something other then arguing or trying to kill each other, it warms my heart. But what benefit to society is a happy gay relationship? A happy straight couple leads to a happy marriage which leads to happy children which may lead to less little evil m************ running around the earth. So we benefit as a society when there are happy straight couples. Yet the media and everything else seems to be trying to rip straight people apart. Now we have to work on strengthening gay relationships? Huh? Why? What benefit to society does this generate?

Comment by BigginsMarie on April 18, 2011 at 4:55pm

Mike K- sorry it took a while to respond. I knew i'd have to type a novelette to respond and then i got distracted by the other stories. 


"Are you suggesting that the only purpose of/for sex is procreation? Isn’t that just an opinion, which, by the way, flies in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary? I.e. sexual engagement actually improves quality of life and longevity. Etc"


Sex improving the quality of life and longevity doesn't dispute the fact the sex is for procreation at all. Why would it? Anyway that doesn't sound like scientific fact to me. I mean how did they decided that sex increases longevity? Did they pole 100 year old whores verse 100 year old virgins? how did that work?


"Maybe I’m just a heathen that is doomed to purgatory but I find your submission that “diverting from ones sexual needs is not that hard” is again an opinion that is not backed up by any examples of realistic/common human tendencies."


Okay, that is an opinion. But it's really not (take that statement as fact or opinion). If you have other loves in life it seems pretty easy to not be so worried about the physical at all.


"Often in circumstances where humans are forced to abstain by lifestyle or other, they either find other sexual outlets i.e. solitary masturbation or tend to lead miserable lives c/w loss of self worth and/or esteem."

See this is what's wrong with modern thinking. It's as if sex is the end all and be all in life and no, i really don't get that crap at all. There is a lot more to life then what's between your legs and what's between other peoples legs. This is pretty satanic thinking and it's unfortunate because I've found happiness and great fulfillment in things other then sex. Like my work, which i am passionate about. My child, who reignited my hope for the future world and made me love people again. And even hobbies/friends/new experiences (not just sexual experiences). Sure sex is a PART of all of that, sex with women was great. But it sure ain't enough and I can't see anyone living a fullfilled life if that's all it's about.


“What difference does it make if you are gay or straight when so many people ain't got their head on straight anyway? It doesn't matter if you're male or female”.

Yeah, I am a bisexual and I never said I wasn't anymore. So i still think like a bisexual in that there's hardly much difference between men and women to me. I just see people. Men lie and cheat, women have some other issues that can't just be put in one or two words. So I just see good people/bad  people or better yet, people i can be in a relationship in and people who would drive me crazy. 


Believe me, everything I said is the absolute truth. I didn't say that gay men cannot have "deep meaningful connections" with each other, I said they want DICK. A man can have a deep meaningful connection with all those other people i mentioned...but they choose to have it with someone who's giving them dick, so dick is obviously the defining factor.


The same absolutely applies to lesbians. I never said it didn't. We just were talking, mainly, about gay men, so i used gay men as the main focus. Lesbians are "thinking" deep meaningful connection but I said it mostly ends up in hot monkey sex (which is good, I loved the experience. but not enough). Some do find deep connection sure, I had it once with a girl. But what is that without the sex? Same relationship you'd have with a best friend/sister. So p**** was the defining factor of the relationship.





Comment by Mike k on April 13, 2011 at 11:10pm

@BigginsMarie It is an absolute delight to correspond with you. You have provided so much food for my ingesting and you've made me even hungrier for insight because of your candor.


Are you suggesting that the only purpose of/for sex is procreation? Isn’t that just an opinion, which, by the way, flies in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary? I.e. sexual engagement actually improves quality of life and longevity. Etc.


I do agree with you that it is apparent that by enlarge; men and women do have different physical/psychosexual needs whereby men tend to be more physically enticed while women tend to be more intellectually/romantically. At least that’s conventional thinking. I’m not so sure about that one because I have encountered some pretty physical women who would put conventional wisdom to shame.


Maybe I’m just a heathen that is doomed to purgatory but I find your submission that “diverting from ones sexual needs is not that hard” is again an opinion that is not backed up by any examples of realistic/common human tendencies. Quite the opposite seems to be the norm. Often in circumstances where humans are forced to abstain by lifestyle or other, they either find other sexual outlets i.e. solitary masturbation or tend to lead miserable lives c/w loss of self worth and/or esteem.


You said: “What difference does it make if you are gay or straight when so many people ain't got their head on straight anyway? It doesn't matter if you're male or female”.  

 I’m not sure I’m interpreting this correctly but I’m assuming that you are addressing the ambiguities of bi-sexuality. I think we are a very complicated species to begin with and the narrow definitions permitted by conventional religions does not allow for anomalies that often exist in nature. I’ll also argue that a lot of so called incidents of bisexuality are actually homosexuals not wanting to fully accept their sexual identity because of societal pressures.

You said: “I'm sorry but let’s be honest, a gay man is not a gay man because he wants a "deep meaningful connection" with another man. He can have a deep meaningful connection with a woman, or another man in a nonsexual way (a close friend, his son, his brother). What he wants from another man is what a woman, a best friend, a child or his brother can't give can't give him, DICK. And usually lots of it. Women are no fun according to a lot of homosexual men, and fun=sex in most mens speak. Men aren't any fun either to lesbians because fun= lots of talking and going out places for adventures. Now women become lesbians because they want a "deep meaningful connection" with another human being and feel men are not giving it to them. But the devil works in them too that somehow "deep meaningful connection" is tied to something sexual. So they might be looking for A. but they are actually getting a lot of B. Which might sound like heaven to straight men, but it's rather hellish to a lot of women, who find their needs are still not being met just by switching teams”.

I’ve read this and it’s my first inkling that I don’t believe that you are being honest with yourself. I don’t think for a minute that you actually believe what you are writing here”. Firstly the fact that there are, I am sure, examples of gay men having “deep meaningful committed relationships” disproves that broad brush indictment bolstered by the stereotype of men in general being unappreciative/incapable of meaningful relations.

Your statement about ‘women becoming lesbians’ are you really suggesting that this is just simply a choice? Then to further imply that they only do it because the men beasts being incapable of offering the “deep meaningful connection” they crave forces them to seek it from the company of women which invokes the devil to deceive them into something sexual. Well wouldn’t the same logic you used for gay men only craving caveman sex apply here? If she only desired “deep meaningful connection” couldn’t she seek fulfillment from her mother, sister straight female friends? Or is it that what she wants from another lesbian is what a man or any of the aforementioned cannot provide for her. Why do you feel it necessary to remove probably the most significant component from any meaningful intimate relationship, “Sex” hello! You admitted yourself that you found sex with your female partners more satisfying/fulfilling than with your man.


@ Big Shot, the majority of your statements are just opinions. Do you give credence to conclusions derived in the 40’s over modern findings? C’mon in the 40’s the common conception that justified discrimination against black people was the biblically based principle that Ham was cursed and darkened because he saw his father’s naked body equating black people with sin. How can you blame homosexuality for breaking up homes and confusing children? How is this possible? Is it not the forcing of it underground by the attitudes you are displaying that causes all of these severe consequences?  

Comment by Bombahdrop on April 13, 2011 at 7:51am
You can have it Empress i'm giving it to you, lol  A Diamond for a beautiful Diamond .
Comment by JamRockLady on April 13, 2011 at 7:48am
@Bombahdrop...I'm takin' that diamond straight to the pawn shop!  Mama need some dough! LMAO! (*kidding). Thanks.
Comment by Bombahdrop on April 13, 2011 at 7:42am
Good~morning every, Good~Morning to you to Empress (JamRockLady)
Comment by JamRockLady on April 13, 2011 at 7:33am

@Bigshot...truer words have never been spoken. Co-sign

Comment by Bombahdrop on April 13, 2011 at 6:15am

@BigginsMarie what's up Nubian Princess grrl neva mind those that disagreee your point is well taken by me and many many others, Your comment is right on the money, Hold firm to your belief sis, let the others believe the lies the devil fills their every day lives with, you just sit tight. You are Living Proof that a Gay person can repent and convert back to the good side of things The way GOD intended it to be from the beginning of mankind.  I know God sees what's in your heart and he has forgiven you, I slso know deep in my soul  he is pleased at the fact that you are telling your story here, because you been to that side of the track so you know what you're talking about, and you are touching key points on why it isn't right to be Gay and why you changed that lifestyle and know recognize it for the Abomination that it is. I commend you BigginsMarie

I also prayed to God for all my peeps including you BigginsMarie that he watch over you and keep you safe and warm all the days of your lives and trust me I know he is, I asked him too God Bless you all.

Comment by Lemara Tone on April 13, 2011 at 5:41am
@Bigshot more shots firing from u 110% wid u on dat one straight up no corner ting.
Comment by Bombahdrop on April 13, 2011 at 5:08am
To Big~shot Bless up King

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