The battle between Jamaican politicians and human rights activists rages on over homophobia on the Caribbean island. As you may recall from last year, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, came under fire over remarks on British television, opposing gay members in his administration. Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) was also denied accreditation to a UN event in September after representatives of the Jamaican government complained about their presence only after the group was given clearance to attend the meeting months before. Bloggers throughout the Caribbean and around the world spoke out in defense of LGBT Jamaicans, and they are coming out again in force, this time over another Jamaican politician making controversial remarks.
“I am very concerned that homosexuals in Jamaica have become so brazen, they’ve formed themselves into organizations and are abusive, violent and something that the Ministry of National Security must look into is why is it that so many homosexuals are licensed firearm holders. There was a report recently which has never been challenged that our security forces, particularly the Jamaican Constabulary Force, have been overrun by homosexuals … there was a front page report in one of our daily newspapers, which has never been challenged.”
Smith is now also calling to outlaw J-FLAG. Some Caribbean bloggers are calling for both Golding and Smith to resign, while others hope this latest incident will make people wonder about the irrationality of homophobia.
“Time was when the homophobic hysteria and condemnation would have been the norm with perhaps a lone dissenting voice,” the blogger continues. “If nothing else, Smith’s diatribe has brought out this more balanced, rational response we might not have known of otherwise.”