As the movement to marriage equality steams ahead globally, obvious exceptions are Africa and the Caribbean, where far more pressing issues are securing simple tolerance, freedom from violence, and even decriminalization.
But even here, there are signs of progress. In Jamaica, where homosexual acts can lead to a criminal conviction, an Anglican priest and a government minister both agree that change has already begun (and by implication, decriminalization will follow).
ANTI-GAY HYPOCRISY: Jamaica destined to become tolerant of homosexuality, says clergyman
Tolerance for homosexuality will eventually become a reality for Jamaica, according to one Anglican priest who says it already exists in many circles, including the Church.The Reverend Father Sean Major-Campbell believes, however, that hypocrisy on the matter has been the preferred route of Jamaican society for centuries.”I do not believe there was any Jamaican who would believe 30 – or even 20 – years ago that it would become the norm for so many Jamaican men to expose their underwear and posterior,” he said. “However, you are in style and good company if your boxers are fully on show in a conveniently homophobic society.”Major-Campbells comments have come on the heels of statements made by Pope Francis during a recent press conference on the issue of homosexuality within the Catholic Church. Some commentators say that the pontiffs comments struck a conciliatory chord on the attitude towards gays.
Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding says there has been an evolution in Jamaicans’ attitudes towards homosexuality over the years.
“Polls show that a fairly substantial portion of the population believes that we should be tolerant towards persons, regardless of sexual orientation. Certainly, the position taken by me and the Government is one which rejects totally any acts of violence against any of our citizens based on them being a member of some minority group.”
Golding added: “Some people really feel that homosexuality and a homosexual lifestyle are intrinsically immoral. My own view on the matter is that what people do as adults in the privacy of their home is really a matter for them and shouldn’t really be subject to any kind of state interference.”