Laws, policies, and the Jamaican constitution[ edit ] History of the criminalisation of LGBT individuals[ edit ] Islands in the Commonwealth Caribbean adopted British buggery laws; however these laws were not as strictly regulated in the Caribbean as in the United Kingdom up until the Victorian era.
Prior to this era, recounts were made of the island's British occupants engaging in sodomy, which may correlate with the fact that the first colonists were mostly men.
The slave communities in Jamaica and the rest of the British Caribbean were made up of men and women from West Africa, the men being more sought after by slave owners. By this point, Jamaica had already gained its independence in , and thus its buggery law adopted from the British constitution, is still in force to this day.
Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years. Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, with or without hard labour.
Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.
Any constable may take into custody, without a warrant, any person whom he shall find lying or loitering in any highway, yard, or other place during the night, that is to say the interval between 7 o'clock in the evening and 6 o'clock in the morning of the next succeeding day, and whom he shall have good cause to suspect of having committed, or being about to commit any felony in this Act mentioned, and shall take such person, as soon as reasonably may be, before a Justice, to be dealt with according to law.
This and other laws are used by police to detain men who are engaged in sodomy, or who are abusing animals. Decriminalisation efforts[ edit ] The European Parliament in passed a resolution calling on Jamaica to repeal its "antiquated and discriminatory sodomy laws and to actively combat widespread homophobia".
He had fled the country because of death threats after news about his marriage with another man in Canada reached the local media. No date for the first hearing has been set. There is no legislation addressing hate crimes in Jamaica. While it does guarantee all citizens numerous civil and political rights, it specifically stipulates that the charter does not invalidate laws dealing with sexual offenses, pornography or the traditional definition of marriage. Jamaican political parties[ edit ] Neither one of the two major political parties in Jamaica has expressed any official support for rights for its homosexual citizens.
However, at a televised debate in late December between opposition leader and former prime minister Portia Simpson-Miller of the People's National Party PNP and then- Prime Minister Andrew Holness , she said she would consider appointing anyone she felt was most qualified for her cabinet regardless of sexual orientation  and added that she wanted to see conscience votes allowed by the major parties on LGBT rights issues in parliament.
In April , then-opposition leader and future prime minister Bruce Golding vowed that "homosexuals would find no solace in any cabinet formed by him". He stated in the court filings, "the laws of Jamaica that criminalise consensual sexual intimacy between men essentially render me an un-apprehended criminal.
These include the rights to liberty and freedom of the person, freedom of expression, privacy and family life, and freedom from inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment, among others. Those who are not heterosexual or cisgender face political and legal stigmatisation, police violence, an inability to access the justice system, as well as intimidation, violence, and pressure in their homes and communities.
In its report, Jamaica stressed that, although consensual sex between adult males remained proscribed by law, there was no legal discrimination against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Jamaica pointed out that Jamaican law did not criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender orientation, nor did the Government condone discrimination or violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
Likewise, there was no evidence of any mob-related killing of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons. Jamaica stressed that the issue of male homosexuality was one of great sensitivity in Jamaican society, in which cultural norms, values, religious and moral standards underlay a rejection of male homosexual behaviour by a large majority of Jamaicans; and that the Government was committed to ensuring that all citizens were protected from violence.
Jamaica stated that it was aware of existing concerns and observed that this was a sensitive issue. During the year[,] J-FLAG received 68 reports of sexually motivated harassment or abuse, which included 53 cases of attempted or actual assault, including at least two killings, and 15 reports of displacements.
J-FLAG data showed that young people, ages 18 to 29, continued to bear the brunt of violence based on sexual orientation.
Gay men and lesbian women have been beaten, cut, burned, raped and shot on account of their sexuality. We are concerned that these reports are just the tip of the iceberg. Many gay men and women in Jamaica are too afraid to go to the authorities and seek help. Police ruled that the murder was the result of a robbery, but J-FLAG believes his murder was a hate crime.
She found a small crowd singing and dancing. One man called out, " Battyman he get killed. Others sang "Boom bye bye", a line from a well-known dancehall song by Jamaican star Buju Banton about shooting and burning gay men. We never have cases of gay men being beaten up [by heterosexuals]. Gunmen reportedly burst into his home and demanded money, demanding to know "Are you battymen?
So they took him out and killed him. Their trial began and was then postponed in It was resumed in , in one of the accused was set free. The mob demanded that the man be turned over to them. It only dispersed when riot police were called in and one officer fired a shot in the air.
The security company fired the two guards,  and their action was condemned by the University of Technology as well as the Security company. James stabbed to death a gender-nonconforming year-old, Dwayne Jones. Based on a random survey in late of 1, Jamaicans, aged 18—84, Kingsley Ragashanti Stewart, a professor of anthropology at the University of the West Indies , "A lot of Jamaican men, if you call them a homosexual, It's the worst insult you could give to a Jamaican man.
Stewart believes that homophobia influences almost every aspect of life and shapes the everyday language of ghetto youth.
In common with many countries where homosexual acts are or were illegal, legislation refers specifically to acts between males, making female homosexuality legal by omission. Jamaica Gleaner columnist Morris Cargill , who supported the "nurture" view with respect to environment and sexual orientation , wrote in There seems to be a certain logic in female homosexuality.
For if it is true, broadly speaking, we acquire our first sexual proclivities in infancy, girl children who are petted and fondled by their mothers, nurses and female relatives acquire what might be said to be a "normal" sexual affection for their own sex. But this is not true of male children, so it seems to me that there is a very fundamental difference between male and female homosexuality. Lesbians reportedly have been attacked on the grounds of "mannish" physical appearance or other visible "signs" of sexuality.
Some reports of abduction and rape come from inner-city communities, where local non-governmental organisations have expressed concerns about high incidences of violence against women. Dennis-Benn and Emma Benn held the first lesbian wedding in Jamaica, although their marriage was not legally recognised in Jamaica, they were by law, legally married in New York State which legalised same-sex marriage in where they reside.
The couple had their celebration ceremony in Jamaica after being lawfully married in the United States. The stigmas placed upon these individuals influence their perception of the world, and upon internalising these stigmas, the treatment process becomes more difficult. The viewpoint arises that doctors will stigmatise patients or treat them badly because of the unconventionality of the treatment being carried out.
Ultimately, low tolerance leads patients to obtain less treatment overall. Buckland said that if the laws were repealed, activists would "go back to the court to make it a criminal offense to speak against the homosexual lifestyle. Chief among the concerns was that homosexuality could be made legal, although Justice Minister A.
Nicholson and the leader of the opposition, Bruce Golding , denied this and opposed decriminalising buggery. Those who commit this great sin are thus unequivocally construed These persons feel a kind of righteous justification for In Jamaica metaphorical stones enthusiastically and destructively cast take the form of homophobic song lyrics, passionate sermons, and parliamentary and party conference speeches that voice a refusal to liberalize anti-homosexuality laws.
In the case of adultery, of which much more mention is made in Biblical text, Jamaica has no law pertaining to its condemnation or prosecution. The same applies to the act of fornication. The real reason why the average " Jah D " in Jamaica has this extreme, rational aversion to male homosexuality is not It is simply that he cannot condone the abandonment of the clean "nip and tuck" of normal heterosexual relations for the unhygienic foray amid waste matter, unfriendly bacteria and toxic germs.
From a moral and traditional African point of view, homosexuality is not acceptable. I believe it is my duty to call upon all the progressive people of Jamaica He clarified this after some controversy about his song "Jah Nah Dead".