Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Sunday expressed his willingness to appoint homosexuals in his Cabinet at the Jamaica Diaspora meeting in Brussels, something that former Prime Minister Bruce Golding flatly refused to do.
At the meeting, Holness urged the international community to be patient as Jamaica moves to accept homosexuals.
Even though the wider public is not pleased with the statement, members from the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) said they are pleased that the prime minister spoke openly about the end to discrimination they face.
Holness also suggested that the church is becoming more tolerant or accepting when he said that they now have “multiple positions on the issue compared to 10 years ago”.
Carla Dunbar, minister of religion, said that even though she welcomes everyone because people need to be treated with respect, she firmly believes in what the Word of God says and homosexuality goes against that principle.
“I don’t hate persons that have alternate lifestyles … (but) a relationship is supposed to be between a man and a woman, not two males or two females and I have made that position very clear,” she said.
She added that this issue goes beyond what people feel and what they think is right, because everything is about the Word of God as it gives guidelines how people should live.
MORALS FROM GOD
“We believe in the word of the Lord, that is the premise on which we substantiate where we stand. It is on no other thing. It is not about feeling or human rights. Standards about what is right or wrong and morals don’t come from man it comes from God, and we stand upon the premise of what the word of the Lord said,” she said.
Jaevion Nelson, executive director at J-FLAG, said that some churches are supportive of them and they are happy about it.
“J-FLAG continues to benefit tremendously from key allies in a number of churches/denominations over the years, who use their influence to facilitate respectful dialogue among their congregants, promote respect for human rights and provide pastoral care for LGBT people who require their services,” he said. “Some of these individuals have made public statements, while others have provided an open door for continued dialogue with us.”
Rev Phyllis Smith-Seymour, president of the Moravian Church, said that she is not sure if the Jamaica community will accept homosexuality at this point.
She added that the church community on a whole has not met to have a fulsome discussion on the matter, and, as such, is not sure where Holness got his information about the church.
“I don’t know about what he is saying that the church had multiple positions. The church has not been able to take a position on it because we have not discussed it fulsome enough; we are a part of the Jamaica Council of Churches and we want some more fulsome discussion on it,” she said.