A poster promoting Saturday’s anti-gay march
Hundreds of Jamaicans have taken part in a march in the capital, Kingston, to condemn homosexuality.
Daniel Thomas, leader of “The Love March” told the Jamaica Observer that Saturday’s event hoped to encourage people to take a stand for “sexual purity”.
Many of the protestors in the eight kilometre procession were young people who held aloft placards with messages including “keep the buggery law” and “I used to be a fornicator, masturbator”.
A petition was also signed by the participants, calling on Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to ensure that homosexuality remains illegal.
Thomas stated that, “…we are sending a powerful message to the politicians, and to our prime minister in particular, to say that we want to keep the buggery law. We are the youth of this country, the laws that are being decided on right now are really going to affect us in the future and our children and grandchildren, and this is our democracy. This is what we want — keep the buggery law”.
He further said that the event intended to take a stance “against pornography, fornication and homosexuality in our nation. Those are three very destructive forces that are causing very serious undermining of family structures”.
Under Jamaican law, which dates back to British colonial rule, sexual acts between men, defined as “buggery”, are punishable with up to ten years in jail.
Gay people have often been the victims of violence by members of the public. LGBT rights group J-FLAG has documented on average between 30 and 40 cases of violence based on sexual orientation annually over the past three years.
In January, Prime Minister Miller said that she was open to reviewing the criminalisation of homosexuality in her country but has not made any moves in this regard.