Sunday, January 15, 2012

May Be, Politicans in Homophobic Countries' Are To Blame After All

Recently in Jamaica, during the campaign for the December 29th election in 2011, Ms. Portia Simpson-Miller, who later won the election, surprised, not only Jamaicans, but the entire world when she declared publicly that if elected, her government will incorporate gay people into her Cabinet. Her bravity was suspected to become the mistake of her success... But the reverse was the case.

While her opponent, the then Prime Minister, Mr Holness barked away in response to the same question insisting that retaining homophobia in his Cabinet if elected is only a wish of the people, Ms Simpson-Miller proved him wrong without fear or favour.

The then ruling party, Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) harped on that sincere opinion to undo Ms Simpson-Miller, but Jamaicans turned a deaf ear. May be, after all, Jamaicans are not as homphobic as we have always thought. May, Jamaicans had played out homophobia because their politicians had ignored bringing in equality in actiona. May be, Jamaicans had only remained deeply homophobic because their politicians had been living with the fear of the unknown.

While across the world in all countries with laws that criminalize homosexuality, or even in one that do not have formal laws but operate from a mythical cultural value of oppression, homophobia had remained because politicians are basing governance on self-made morality instead of well-debated policy.

Today, Ms Simpson-Miller is the Prime Minister of Jamaica with a majority won at that same election; who would have thought? Since in theory, Jamaicans had accepted her sincere opinion of support for gay people, now is the time to hit the ground and do away with criminalizing laws and bring in laws that grant all citizens a fair access to their country, including complete freedom of association, expression and freedom of the dignity of the person.

It would be great if other African and Caribbean countries' politicians learnt from this particular lesson which Ms Portia Simpson-Miller had taught them; that honesty and reputable sincerity is the key.

Wishing the new Prime Minister the best of times in the office and hoping that she would take Jamaica further into the road for that long-awaited equality.

No comments:

Subscribe by Email