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Jamaica’s anti-gay law is up for parliamentary review

Jamaican legislators likely will review the nation’s anti-gay law as part of a legally required examination of laws related to sexual offenses.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

11th June 2014 20:50

Alessia Valenza

“There is a provision for reviewing the Sexual Offences Act every five years, and the Act was promulgated in 2009,” Justice Minister Sen. Mark Golding said, as quoted in the anti-gay Jamaica Observer.

Golding said the review was not a covert attempt at changing Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law, but he acknowledged that a review of that colonial-era law, known as the Buggery Law, would likely be included.

A likely focus of the review will be the law’s effect on public health programs, including the battle against HIV/AIDS, because as the Observer stated, “the buggery provisions … are considered by some groups to be hampering efforts to deal effectively with these diseases.” In fact, that opinion is widely shared by anti-AIDS experts, although perhaps the Observer and definitely conservative Christian leaders wish it weren’t.