Leading Jamaican paper calls for marriage equality and end to criminalization of the LGBT community

A leading newspaper in Jamaica has published an editorial calling for the repeal of a section of the constitution, Section 28, that defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman, as well as the laws that criminalize LGBT people there. The editorial in the Jamaica Gleaner quoted in its entirety in Buzzfeed, makes the case for marriage equality.

"…It is unassailable logic that Section 28 represents an assault on the principle of equality of people; people’s right to forge relationships, especially when the exercise of those rights does not impinge on the rights of others; and their right to equal protection under the law. Indeed, a denial of these human rights is also an attack on the dignity of individuals who are prevented from the public expression of the powerful human emotion of love within the sanctity of marriage…"

The article goes on to counter the assertions of certain opposing religious leaders and congregations who want to keep the laws in place by clarifying that clergy would not be forced to carry out marriages that "went against the rules of their denominations." If those arguments sound familiar, it is because anti-gay activists from the United States and the United Kingdom have gone to Jamaica to work with homegrown conservatives to fight against the movement for LGBT equality.

At the beginning of the year, the Huffington Post published an article from Reuters that painted an assessment about the state of LGBT rights in the country which included information from the Inter-American Commision on Human Rights. Despite efforts by advocates, the IACHR report detailed civilian and police violence directed at LGBT people and enduring homophobia.

GLAAD applauds the Jamaica Gleaner and we urge all media to cover the experiences of LGBT Jamaicans, to shed light on their struggles and achievements.