Jamaican LGBT Group: Politicans “Pulling Sexuality Card” In Runup To Election

Borrowing a page from their right-wing neighbors to the north, leading candidates in Jamaica’s national elections have resorted to gay-baiting and homophobic rhetoric, according to Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays.

J-FLAG director Dane Lewis tells the AP that Jamaica Labor Party candidates have “descended into pulling the sexuality card” to curry favor in the close vote expected on Thursday’s election. “It’s been disappointing that they’ve chosen this road yet again because it seems to historically be their stance during campaigning,” he said.

The island nation has been long plagued by violence and discrimination directed against gays, a situation only worsened during the election season.

The AP story reports:

Labor’s candidate for West Central St. James, Energy Minister Clive Mullings, asserted that easing up on laws against homosexuality would bring God’s wrath down on Jamaica, while West Kingston candidate, Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie, used an epithet at a rally while an anti-gay dancehall song played.

One candidate standing against the tide is the People’s National Party’s Portia Simpson-Miller, who called for a review of Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws and said she’d have no problem appointing a gay cabinet member. But even Simpson-Miller’s party is distancing itself from her comments.

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