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UK lawyer urges Jamaica to keep buggery laws

Paul Diamond believes Jamaica should resist pressure from the US or UK to remove buggery laws

UK lawyer urges Jamaica to keep buggery laws

A UK lawyer says Jamaica shouldn’t give into UK or US pressure to review its buggery laws.

British barrister Paul Diamond accuses the United Kingdom of failing ‘to find a balance between religious rights and the secular modern human-rights agenda’.

Diamond’s website reveals he specializes in the law of religious liberty.

According to Jamaican newspaper the Sunday Gleaner, Diamond also accuses the UK of ‘failing to honor the rights of its own citizens’ and ‘discrimination against Christians’.

Diamond wrote: ‘Christians in the United Kingdom have sustained detriment in their employment for wearing crosses; for making any comment of opposition to the homosexual lifestyle; for offering to pray for someone (even if refused) or for asking for conscientious exemption to assisting in same-sex marriages’.

Diamond encouraged Jamaica to consider its sovereignty, asserting that the UK and the US coercively use visas and economic aid as tools to drive a human rights agenda that includes the country’s buggery laws.

GSN interviewed three leading Jamaican gay activists to learn more about the current legal challenge being pursued against buggery laws.

J-FLAG, the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays is mounting a legal challenge in the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States, using the case of a gay Jamaican Gareth Henry who was forced to get asylum in Canada because of the risk to his life at home.

Newly-elected Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller asserted she would review Jamaica’s buggery laws, which make sodomy punishable with up to ten years in jail.

Jamaica is seen as one of the most homophobic countries in the world with reports of mob violence, police complicity and hate speech in music. 

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