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Trinidad & Tobago gays hail victory of supportive Jamaica PM-designate

PRESIDENT of the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO), Colin Robinson, says Jamaican Prime Minister-designate Portia Simpson-Miller did the right thing by stating quite clearly that she opposed the discrimination against homosexuals.

Simpson-Miller led the People's National Party (PNP) into victory in Thursday's general elections in Jamaica.

The country with a population of 2.8 million people has developed a worldwide reputation for its strong anti-homosexual views and acts of violence against homosexuals.

During a televised leadership debate on December 20 between herself and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, whose Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was voted out of office, Simpson-Miller said her administration believes in protecting the human rights of all Jamaicans.

"No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation," Simpson-Miller said. 

"Government should provide the protection and I think we should have a look at the buggery law and that members of parliament should be given an opportunity to vote with their conscience on consultation with their constituents. 

"But for me, I do not support the position of the former prime minister (Bruce Golding who said he would not appoint a gay person in his Cabinet) because people should be appointed to positions based on their ability and to lead."

Simpson-Miller said she has no intention of prying in the private business of anyone and will appoint anyone with the ability and capacity to manage in her Cabinet.

Robinson said Simpson-Miller's victory, in spite of her statements, is a lesson for all "Caribbean cowardly politicians".

"What the win says is that you do not lose an election by being supportive of the rights and the humanity of gay people," Robinson said. 

"Similarly the JLP candidate, who was most outrageous (by) using homophobia as a campaign tool, lost his seat.  So the other message is 'bun batty man' and beating the Bible on the backs of gay people will not win you elections."

Robinson said it is a signal to politicians that the issue of nondiscrimination against homosexuals does not carry the political liability they think it carries.

"The only reason that the politician has now to oppose full equality concerning gay people is their own prejudice."

The view was shared by the president of another local lobbyist group, Friends for Life, Luke Sinette. He said he fully endorses Simpson-Miller's statements.

"Gay people are full citizens just like anyone else," Sinette said. 

"Gay persons should not only be allowed the same protections as anybody else under the law, but they should also be allowed the opportunity to serve their country just like anybody else. People should be allowed to be full citizens irrespective of race, class, gender, ethnicity and, of course, sexual orientation."

Lynette Vassell, a member of the Women Resource and Outreach Centre in Jamaica, told the Express the strategy used by the JLP in their attempt to discredit Simpson-Miller, backfired on the ruling party.

"It backfired because the issues on people's minds were more concrete and practical," Vassell said.

"I and a lot of right-thinking Jamaicans support the stance she took during the debate because what she is saying is that we need to open up a conversation around a matter that is very touchy in our context.

"What she has said is that she is going to open the debate around the repeal of the buggery Act and she is going to encourage parliamentarians to deal with it on an individual basis after consulting with their constituents. 

"Of course we recognise that if a man had said it, it would have been a damaging and dangerous thing (politically) and I am glad that she is the one who very sincerely made the response."

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Comment by Chris Stennett on January 1, 2012 at 12:56pm

for years that has been my views also now look at whats going on here they can legally get married here, i don't go to Manhattan any more unless its business because they are all over the place groping and kissing each other and personally it disgust me so i try not to shop or hang out at any clubs or bars  there.most Jamaicans don't vote on the issues it's name recognition and family loyalty( Portia or Bruce have been a household name in Jamaica for a long time,and because their great grand parents down to their parents was a pnp or Jlp that's who they're voting for).

Comment by One Love on January 1, 2012 at 12:35pm
The difference with this is they made it public but I can guarantee you all that there are always a few of them in there. They just keep it under cover. What I think was best is if you gay you keep it to yourself especially knowing this is a country that is anti gay. I don't think its a good move but I am not the government.
Comment by Chris Stennett on January 1, 2012 at 12:23pm

no one is saying everyone would be gay that would be stupid and ridiculous we are saying having a gay person in her cabinet is a steppingstone for gays to better position themselves to change the laws and fight for legalizing their immoral issues to get anywhere in life one must first get a foot in the door (so to speak) usually the rest of the body will follow.

Comment by One Love on January 1, 2012 at 12:11pm
If that's what Jamaica want that's what it will be. If the.people don't want it then it will not happen. You cannot compare Jamaica to the USA.
Comment by One Love on January 1, 2012 at 12:09pm
Nobody can make the country gay if them people don't allow it so you all sound like this is what you are going to do in Jamaica where everybody will be gay. That don't make sense and not realistic but trash talk start by a man who sound more like an illiterate and angry man who put down the islands.
Comment by Chris Stennett on January 1, 2012 at 12:01pm

@MiLuvMGoodLife that's the way it started here in NY and Mass as don't ask don't tell that wasn't enough they got into political office then start changing the laws next was civil union they were not satisfied after appointing more gays into the political arena they pushed for gay marriage. do you believe that kids should be taught in school that being gay is normal and the kids that's produced by normal heterosexual should be adopted by gays?what exactly would a gay couple teach that child? that what they are doing is good and normal,I think you better check yourself and start looking at the facts ."ah guess yu neva step ina ants nest an see how fast dem spread out" dwl ...until two man or two woman can conceive a child naturally together I personally will forever fight against their nasty life style.

Comment by GGGIAN1 on January 1, 2012 at 11:55am

"this lady is going to f*.c* up jamaica with them gay people money to win the election.jamaica is going to be a gay country now."

THAT IS THE REALEST STATEMENT OF THE NEW YEAR.

THE 16 STATES,

FIYAH BURN GAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

LAVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

Comment by Chris Stennett on December 31, 2011 at 10:38pm

@tallislandgirl i must say I also live in the USA ( new york) next year will be 34 years left real young but I still support and care about my little Island don't care much about the politics, but gays and Jews run things in NY so its real nice to go home to Ja and not deal with or see them openly ,

Comment by joshua martin on December 31, 2011 at 9:26pm

@MiLuvMiGoodLife THE PM SELLING THEM JAMAICAN PEOPLE ASS FOR SOME FOOD GOOD LUCK HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Comment by One Love on December 31, 2011 at 9:22pm
Bwoy you is ah idiat. No sense. Take a class and get some sense so you can fit it. You sound like you slow.

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