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Jamaican Christians to march against porn and gays

Jamaica’s so-called Love March this weekend will call for ‘sexual purity’ and take a stand against homosexuality
Half Way Tree in Jamaica where the march against gays will end.

Anti-gay Christians in Jamaica are holding a ‘Love March’ this weekend to combat ‘porn, fornication and homosexuality’.

Hundreds of teenagers and young adults are expected to take to the streets of the Corporate Area of the Jamaican capital, Kingston, with participants coming from various schools, churches and professions marching for ‘sexual purity’.

It will start at Hope Gardens at 9.30am on Saturday (15 September) and culminate in a short concert at Mandela Park in Half Way Tree.

The concert will consist of prayers, worship and performances by various Christian artists. This will be interspersed with personal testimonies centered on ‘deliverance from sexual sin’.

The organizers, Creative Counter Culture and 3R Youth, have emphasized they ‘love homosexuals’ but have combined together ‘porn, fornication and homosexuality,’ and are opposing all three simultaneously.

The group refuse to acknowledge the existence of committed loving gay relationships.

Opposing gay rights, they quote Biblical texts, prominently a passage in 1 Corinthians which states: ‘Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’

Daniel Thomas, the public relations officer for Creative Counter Culture and 3R Youth, said pornography and fornication are so prevalent they are considered normal and even promoted.

He claims this results in a breakdown of the family and the erosion of values like integrity, respect and the intrinsic dignity of the human body.

They also oppose the repeal of Jamaica’s anti-buggery law which was proposed during her election fight by the country’s new Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller. She has also spoken against discrimination on the basis of sexuality.

According to Jamaican activist Angeline Jackson, the march’s focus on homosexuality is part of a fundamentalist Christian strategy to ‘to erode current Jamaican culture and impose Christian fundamentalism.’

She said: ‘It is time for the rest of Jamaicans who are tired of this hostile takeover of beautiful Jamaica to come forward, the progressive Christians, non-Christians, atheists, agnostics, secularists. We need to rise up and take a stand.’

Jamaica has long held a reputation for intense homophobia, partly due to the notoriety of Jamaican singers with violent anti-gay lyrics. Famously reggae star Beenie Man sang, ‘I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays’. He has since apologized for his lyrics stating his understanding of homosexuality has changed.

Gay activists say the stigma against homosexuals has forced gay and bisexual men to hide their sexuality. This makes it harder to promote safer sex and is a major stumbling obstacle in AIDS prevention in Jamaica, they say.

The Jamaican HIV infection rate is estimated at 25% or more among men who have sex with men, compared to 1.7% in the overall population.

Human rights activists have also demanded action to curtail Jamaica’s high rate of murders of gays and lesbians caused by homophobia.

Jamaican gay activist Maurice Tomlinson, who had to flee the country in January due to the death threats he received after his marriage to his partner was publicized, told GSN the so-called ‘Love March’ should be a wake-up call.

He said: ‘I hope this march will motivate the still fractured LGBT community on the island to unite against the common enemy of intolerance.

‘More than ever we need to be visible in order to counter the perverse stereotypes being peddled about same-gender intimacy. To eradicate hate we must educate.’

Many advocates in Jamaica’s LGBT community we have spoken to so far have indicated many feel religious people have the right to march and the real problem is that Jamaica’s LGBT population do not enjoy the same right.

And some are concerned that condemning the march could play into the hands of the religious right which has previously claimed the ‘gay lobby’ is suppressing religious freedom.

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