It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.
Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality. Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments:
The Bible say it's an abomination
The Bible is perhaps the most popular reference when it comes to proving why homosexuality is wrong. The famous verses: Leviticus 18:22 - "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination." and Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them." The problem with quoting the Bible is that not everyone is a Christian. Also there are other things that are "abominations" in the Bible such as adultery, fornication, lying among others. Are we suggesting that people should be put to death for these transgressions as well?
Gay men prey on young boys
There is a clear difference between paedophilia and homosexuality. Paedophiles are interested in pre-pubescent children who are unable to consent to any sexual activity. Consenting adults getting sexual is very different. Also, there is a lot of concern about boys getting raped, but the attention paid to young girls who are repeatedly molested is not quite the same.
Gay men cause HIV
In the 1980s HIV/AIDS were thought to be caused by homosexuals. That theory has long been dismissed. Heterosexuals have contracted the disease and passed it on to their partners as well. As a matter of fact, anal sex is not only enjoyed by same sex couples, heterosexual couples have been entering through the back door and they face the same risks.
Homosexuals can't procreate
I personally think that this is probably the most hypocritical of all the reasons because most persons who are having sex are not trying to procreate. For many individuals, pregnancy is a consequence, not a decision. So if you are using any form of contraceptive, you are not trying to procreate.
Gay parents will make gay children
This theory is flawed because of one simple fact: Most gay children come from heterosexual households. So clearly sexual orientation is not dependent on that of the parents.
Personally I do not think that what consenting adults engage in sexually should be a matter for legislation. Sexual identity is a personal thing and should be treated as such. As for the buggery (anal sex) law, I think it is antiquated, irrelevant to 21st century life and very difficult to enforce. I mean, are there individuals looking into homes to ensure that the penis is placed in the correct hole? Regardless of how we feel individually about this issue, remember one important fact: every human being is entitled to choose who they love, including homosexuals.
Have fun and stay sexy.
see: Buggery could dominate review of sex laws (Observer)