Backlash against attempts to decriminalise gay sex in the Caribbean
Outraged Caribbean activists have condemned anti-gay adverts that have appeared in newspapers in Trinidad and Jamaica.
Trinidad’s Sunday Express published an advertisement titled ‘What you should know about homosexuality’ while a Jamaican paper published a similar piece on World AIDS Day.
The Trinidad advert said ‘homosexuality is a manifestation of sexual brokenness’ and argued this was caused by childhood trauma.
The blog Gay Jamaica Watch said: ‘These adverts justify the false stigmas that people who experience same-sex attraction are not “normal” but are all sexually deviant, mentally unstable and self-selecting.’
The Jamaican advert was followed by a seven hour symposium on 10 December organised by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship aimed at fighting activists’ moves to decriminalise homosexuality in the region.
The event was attended by two judges from Jamaica’s Supreme Court, the Attorney General, many leading Jamaicans and American and British Christian speakers.
Presenters urged Jamaican Christians to organise a counter-offensive against a ‘militant gay agenda’ which they claimed would destroy their country, their children and Christianity.
Jamaican gay activist Maurice Tomlinson said the proceedings were ‘tightly controlled’ and that organisers tried to stop anyone offering a correction when false information was given.
But Jamaica’s anti-gay movement has suffered a blow by the head of Jamaica’s Anglican Church calling for the repeal of the colonial era anti-sodomy laws.
Tomlinson is one of the activists taking Jamaica’s anti-gay laws to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The law in Belize is also challenged as unconstitutional.
In Trinidad, veteran activist Colin Robinson said: ‘The region is in the cross-hairs of religious groups in the North who think their battles for Christian Dominion ought to be waged on the bodies of Caribbean gay and lesbian men and women, just like they have done on the corpses of our Ugandan brothers and sisters.
‘What’s happening is that heterosexual people, especially young ones, are mobilising to say “this is wrong and harmful and we will stand against it”. They are doing a much better job than we are of creating advocates for GLBT rights.’
American Christian inspired efforts to ‘cure’ gays are spreading abroad despite the movement floundering in the US.
In Uganda, US ‘conversion therapy’ Christian evangelists were behind pushing the ‘kill the gays’ bill. Their work led to the false belief through Africa that gays can be cured.
Reports have emerged of 200 ‘ex gay clinics’ in Ecuador and claims that the Hong Kong government is paying for so-called sexual orientation conversion therapy for LGBT people.