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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."
KEEP SUCKING THEM GAY PEOPLE DICK MiLuvMiGoodLife YOU AND YOUR JAMAICAN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE RICH.
MiLuvMiGoodLife YOU THINK IF YOU DON'T KISS THEM GAY PEOPLE ASS THINGS GOING TO BE BAD FOR JAMAICANS .THIS IS BAD FOR JAMAICAN KIDS GOD GOING TO BE MAD AT JAMAICAN PEOPLE FOR THAT.
@ joshua don't let those gay supporters stop you from making your voice and opinion heard because that sure making theirs heard speak your mind. jah bless woman for man and man for woman 4eva.
all i can say is all true Jamaicans (a real true Jamaican is one that know that a woman was created for a man) need to put a stop to any gay proposal that is bought on by any government official of Jamaica weather it be a member of parliament or the prime minister her self.Portia don't realize what she's playing with gays are like cockroaches you let one get in and you'll never get rid of them instead they'll take over, just like Malcolm X said stop them by any means necessary. protect our way of life and keep our people living because two man or two woman cant produce a baby without a man and a woman life as we will become extinct just like the dinosaurs.
THIS LADY WANTS TO SELL OUT THE JAMAICAN PEOPLE FOR THE GAY PEOPLES MONEY . IF YOU GUYS WANT JAMAICA TO MOVE UP, YOU HAVE TO DO GOOD BUSINESS AND YOUR COUNTRY HAS TO HAVE RESOURCES NOT GAY PEOPLE.TELL ME WHAT JAMAICA HAS TO SELL TO THE WORLD..
mi still a bun batti man, it is ungodly period.
What an ignorant feedback from Mr Joshua Martin..please stop hiding behind the innocence of a Dog in sunglasses...WHY WOULD JAMAICA BE A GAY COUNTRY??????? Wake up and Smell the Coffee it is 2012. Our World has larger issues than Gays in front of them..lets use our energies in a productive manner. The Gays I KNOW are productive citizens, changing communities and impacting lives... WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP to Mr Joshua Martin to create a legacy for yourself????? I send you LOVE,LIGHT and BLESSING because you need it.... God Bless you..
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