Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Milk River PNP Councillor says no to buggery repeal ..............

Milk River PNP Councillor says no to buggery repeal, no need to canvass his division, the answer is no Member of Parliament Carlton Bailey does not need to canvas the views of the constituents of Milk River division in the Clarendon Parish Council when it comes to the previously proposed buggery review as announced by the Minister of Information Sandrea Falconer some time ago and first suggested by the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller during the leadership debate on December 2011 when she was opposition leader prior to the elections which her party gained power.

Speaking at a function in late 2013 Carlton Bailey PNP Councillor says there won’t be any support for such a move to remove or repeal the buggery law. He said “We nuh inna nuh agreement wid wah dem a come wid (we are not in agreement with what they are coming with) It is said there is going to be a conscience vote in parliament if it is ever called our member of parliament don’t have to walk around to canvass to make a decision to what the people of Milk River seh (say)” Thousands of Jamaicans had already been registering their opposition to the perceived repeal of the buggery law owing to the poor communication by the groups and individuals such as JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays and individual advocates who are more about their own image promotion than really engaging the public including the LGBT populations when many persons still are of the view that a full repeal is being demanded when in fact only certain amendments are proposed but who knew that the position was even changed? Now that the conscience vote has been rescinded so to speak and a new proposal in the form of the amendment to the Sexual Offences Bill has been announced by the Justice Minister Mark Golding I wonder where Mr. Arscott does now stands? 

But some strange things have been happening such as the shake up if you will of the powerful PNP central executive with Mr Peter Bunting Minister of National Security showing signs of non interest to continues as General Secretary and also that of his counterpart Julian Robinson as deputy bearing in mind the latter gentleman is member of parliament for the Trafalgar division where the homeless MSM issue has repeatedly shown up. Church groups nitpicking on issues surrounding homosexuality raising such to the level of the most awful if “sins” while ignoring or barely paying attention to other societal ills that are far more damaging to us have been mobilizing themselves via meetings, demonstrations and public vitriol against supposed “gay lifestyle” while the germane matters of interests have been conflated with secularism, humanism and all other kinds of isms and schisms all wrapped up in deception from all sides surprisingly. I feared from the moment the review was suggested that the political parties are going to use this issue to regain or maintain support, it is important to note that this public outcry is coming from a Peoples National Party Councillor despite the party’s far larger LGBT support nationally and the posturing of the General Secretary last month where he said he is not in support of conscience votes and prefers a referendum without saying it in so many words; such distancing to me is a way to subtly absolve themselves of some blame or perception that the party or administration is slowly allowing ‘homosexuality’ through the back door, such are the fears out there and that somehow a wave of impositions of foreign imperatives via pressure on the government, threats of grant aid removal and more. In the final analysis it is about winning elections despite the will of the people including the minority as powerful as they might be.

I have expressed even further that this review can go against us as it may be a trap of sorts, if this review goes through and it ends out not in the affirmative what is to stop the PNP from rejecting afterwards any agitation for LGBT rights barring outside pressure as the claim can be made by the administration if they remain in power, as I suspect they will based on the opposition they can say the people have spoken via the conscience vote and not a referendum and in the end will look as if they stood up to the homosexual lobby despite the huge support on the ground by the LGBT populations who voted as part of the diehard support in the last election. The public education drives that are to be done by JFLAG have not been forthcoming and in years gone by the lack of preparedness on many fronts we are now reaping the consequences of that and playing step-n-fetch-it when it is too little too late. Why were the quiet engagements continued with the political directorate on all sides even after the failed parliamentary submission in 1998? There should have been no relaxation as now when it matters most scrambling and use of other obviously ethically challenged methods to woo the intelligentsia, parliamentarians, clergy and theologians while lambasting religiosity over all as a last ditch wave of opposition when all the other more salient methods have been poorly executed and managed leading to failure to move with alacrity. It is clear that some at the local political levels via this pronouncement by this counsellor are prepared to use it to sure up groundswell but it was already used by the opposition namely Daryl Vaz after the leadership debate and proposal of the buggery review, Mr Vaz along with Desmond McKenzie at that infamous St Thomas political meeting launched a broadside against the proposed review and supposed legalization of homosexuality. 

Political parties fear referendums as they tend to reflect the vote patterns along party lines as opposed to the matter that is the subject of the decision but in this case it may very well be used as a last resort for the present administration to test the waters albeit the austerity measures that have rubbed sections of the population the wrong way, a sliding dollar, a sluggish economy and joblessness, the administration however maybe in the black when it comes to a parliamentary opposition that is weak and has its own internal issues but the eligible voting public is also disillusioned in some sense as evidenced in the 2011 elections where just under 50% of voters came out and only the core exercised their right while others remained thus a minority government so to speak, will that changes by the time the buggery review is returned as an option if the SOB amendment does not fly and subsequent general elections? Some speculators are suggesting that such a review will have to come mid way the PNP’s tenure so as to allow for room for addressing mitigating circumstances post the review so as to settle in time for the general elections. 

The soundings coming from the ruling administration is showing up some concerns that all may not be on board with the buggery review not necessarily because of moral grounds but more so the possible loss of political capital in case the review goes as originally outlined or as a referendum of which the powerful church groups prefer, their influence cannot be overlooked as it is known that certain religious groups are politically aligned. The above cartoon from the Jamaica Observer makes that clear as crystal despite the recent utterances from the Jamaica Council of Churches walking cautiously on the matters of buggery and homosexuality. Politics I see is what is going to determine the way forward with this matter of buggery in the end outside of the constitutional challenges and court matters. Let us also not leave out the recently concluded tolerance ad case in the Supreme Court that has left in the minds of some more deception on the part of LGBT advocates, a perception that is not needed at this time of the struggle. 

The upcoming case as well as launched by Javed Jaghai has both religious groups joining up with secular reggae acts to oppose "the lifestyle" but then again the overzealous actions of some pushed the two together and then we wonder why we have such opposition?

From left: Angela Templer, group coordinator, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS); Tony Rebel; Dr Wayne West, JCHS chairman; and Queen Ifrica during the launch and viewing of the JCHS-produced DVD: 'Sex, Lies and Rights'. 
Anti Gay Religious group launches pro buggery law DVD

The recent performances by Queen Ifrica at Rebel Salute 2014 as they continue to oppose supposed muzzling of artists on anti homosexuality feelings also brings to bear the issue of misplaced actions taken on artists who do did not initially qualify for murder music targeting but when will we learn eh? now the lobby is viewed as oppressors and calls for tolerance go unheeded or simply dismissed as hypocrisy. also see:

Murder Music Campaign needs local leadership/ownership once again

Jamaican Artistes wanted to 'clean up' the streets, Say homeless gays not a good look for Jamaica, JFLAG yet to respond

Sizzla bats for Queen Ifrica as expected

Queen Ifrica's "Freedom of Speech" & advocacy found wanting

'I SPOKE FOR WHAT I BELIEVED IN' - Queen Ifrica defends Grand Gala performance after JFLAG backlash

Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel call out Jamaican government on buggery law from 2012

Peace and tolerance 



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