Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller
Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, has delayed her promise to address the criminalisation of homosexuality.
In 2011, in her election campaign, Simpson-Miller stated that she “believes in protecting the human rights of all Jamaicans. No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Government should provide the protection…”
She also said that she supported allowing lawmakers to vote on repealing the criminalisation of homosexuality in her country.
In the years that followed, and in spite of a spate of horrific attacks and murders of LGBTI people, she remained silent on the issue.
Last week, she finally spoke about a possible vote on repealing the island nation’s “buggery” laws to Television Jamaica.
“We have to consult with our constituents and then we go with the decisions of those consultations,” she said.
Simpson-Miller refused to be drawn on when this might happen. “I can’t tell you when because you’re going to hold me if I give you a timeline.”
She added that the government was too busy with other pressing matters and that the issue of LGBTI equality “doesn’t impact in a very serious way the majority of our people.”
According to Section 76 of the Jamaican Offences Against the Person Act of 1864, a maximum sentence of 10 years can be issued for committing the crime of “buggery”.