Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Thursday | November 15, 2012
Home : Letters
Time to respect gay rights
THE EDITOR, Sir:

IF THE people in the video demanding the lynching of an individual on the University of Technology campus, who they alleged was involved in sexual act, represent the future of Jamaica then we are in a desolate place. Higher education imparts advanced knowledge and skills, develops your character and also enhances your self-esteem. You would be in a better position to make more informed decisions and bring about a great difference in your life. Watching these people at an institution reminds me of the lynch mob during Jim Crow.

My disgust is with the political directorate who remained silent on the lynching of members of the gay community, in particular the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister of Jamaica. Mrs Simpson Miller, you are leader of the party of Michael Manley; this icon is best remembered for his relentless effort to address social justice.

The right to life, liberty and equal protection under the law is enshrined in the Constitution of Jamaica. Furthermore, Jamaica is a signatory to the United Nations Charter of Human Rights. If you cannot stand up for the most vulnerable in the society then Jamaica should remove its name from that document. Mrs Simpson Miller, if you are too timid or lack the political will to tackle big issues then you must resign because you have compromised the values and principles of the People's National Party.

The most homophobic country in the Western Hemisphere is not a label that Jamaica should be wearing as a badge of honour; it brings shame on the good name of the country. The Church is one of the organisations that are bringing shame on the country. Its silence is deafening when the most vulnerable is attacked, but it is vocal on issues of gambling. The Church has lost it moral compass; this silence is the antithesis of the values and principles espoused by the man the Church preached about.

We are living in a global village and the world is watching, and the image out there does not speak volumes of this nation. We need to grow and respect the rights of all people; we are living in a multicultural and diverse world.

Editor's note: An alliance of local church groups denounced the attack on the UTech student.

Clive George Mortley

Evilc25@gmail.com

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