Massive protest

christians in jamaica publicly express their objection to buggery law challenge

KINGSTON — Hundreds of Christians staged two mass meetings at opposite ends of the island yesterday in protest against a challenge to the buggery law scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court tomorrow.

The protest in Kingston, the capital city, was held at National Heroes Park, while in Montego Bay, on the island’s north coast, the demonstrators gathered in Sam Sharpe Square, named in honour of the Jamaican National Hero who led a rebellion against slavery in 1831.

Hoisting placards stating “Keep the buggery law”, “God is love”, and “Politicians: Run the country according to the principles of the Bible”, the Christians, from varying denominations, said they were also protesting against corruption, fraud and other ills affecting Jamaica.

The challenge to Jamaica’s buggery law was filed by United States-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World on behalf of Jamaican Javed Jaghai. The group is asking the Court to determine if the anti-sodomy law breaches rights guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms which was passed into law in 2011.

But yesterday, the church groups prayed that the Government would not repeal the buggery law.

“God says homosexuality and lesbianism are unlawful and unnatural, and no Government has the authority to rebel against God by making lawful what He says is unlawful,” Pastor Leslie Buckland told the Kingston meeting.

“If they succeed, judging from what has happened in other countries where the buggery laws have been abolished, they are going to make it a criminal offence to speak against the homosexual lifestyle,” he added.

He said that if the buggery law was repealed, homosexual advocates would also seek to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption of children by same-sex couples.

“Pray as a church and as individuals for the prime minister and her Government that they will not legalise homosexuality, for this will be a great disrespect to God and will make the behaviour of our fellow Jamaicans worse than it is now,” Pastor Buckland told the spirited crowd, some of whom travelled from Portland, St Thomas, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, and St Mary.

“We are against it, for God is against it, so it cannot be right,” said Allen Harris, who sat on his bicycle praying.

“People who do those things are of the devil, and homosexuals, lesbians and all the others, is the demons give them all those feelings to do that and they are going to burn in hell,” he added.

Thirteen-year-old Leean Thomas, who was among several young Christians at the meeting, said that she is scared at the possibility of homosexuality being legalised.

“I think the law should stay, because if it is repealed then they will be the homosexuals that what they are doing is okay. And if they are all around and are out in the open I think they will turn straight people into gays. It’s just very scary,” she said.

Carol Henry agreed. “Don’t remove the buggery law as it is going to open up the way for a lot of other things; and we don’t know what is coming next,” she said.

The message was similar in Montego Bay.

“The ministers in St. James have come together to make our position known that we do not need any amendment of the buggery law. And we are saying that those who are saying that there is need for the repeal of this law… we want them to know that it is because they are not standing on the premise of the word of God,” said Reverend Glendon Powell, chairman of the St. James Ministers’ Fraternal. (Observer)

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