I'm Ok with Gays in My Cabinet
By Basil Roman
Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness, when asked by international journalists in Brussels, Belgium, indicated that he had no problem with Gays in his Cabinet.
Prime Minister Holness stated “whatever is in my interest to distribute politically, a person’s sexuality, sexual orientation, is not a criterion for the use of my discretion. It is not an issue that I am afraid to address. The truth is that in the past, like many developing countries, there was a very conservative view on the matter”.
Holness’ position is in contrast to the position of the then Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who during a BBC interview in 2008 took the position that he would not allow gays in his cabinet.
Holness’ position was expressed a few days after the Court in Trinidad and Tobago ruled that the criminalization of consensual adult same sex activity was unconstitutional, striking a blow at the buggery laws Sexual Offense Act. This decision was met with widespread jubilation by the gay communities in the Caribbean.
Prime Minister Holness further stated that: “The culture is evolving, People are evolving. Even in the church, which 10 years ago, had a unified position, the church in Jamaica now has multiple positions on this. I think Jamaica ought to be given space to find its own position to the problems. But, you know, I think we are generally very liberal, but more so very tolerant. And I think that the first step is that the State protect the human rights of every citizen, regardless of sexual orientation or inclination”, the Prime Minister stated.