Because Jamaica doesn’t have enough of a homophobic reputation, Christian extremists in Kingston have planned a so-called Love March against homosexuality and other “vices” on September 15.
Mark your calendars.
After parading their lifestyle in the streets on Saturday, participants will say prayers, listen to Christian music and offer testimonies about being delivered from carnal sin, in the city’s Mandela Park. Besides the love that dare not speak its name, they’ll be chanting against pornography and fornication.
Creative Counter Culture, JAHOP and 3R Youth—the event’s supposed organizers—claim they are “extremely concerned about the rise and acceptance of sexual immorality in our beloved country,” but maintain they “love homosexuals,” just not same-sex relationships.
And while the Facebook invite claims organizers “will not condone any form of abuse (verbal, physical) towards LGBT persons—so don’t even waste your time coming if you plan on bashing them”—it also includes a passage from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Those who indulge in sexual sin, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.”
A recent study indicated that more than 80% of Jamaicans thought homosexuality was immoral and that 55% believed gay people can be “cured.”
Queer activists are slow to lash out at the hate fest, fearing the right will say its freedoms of speech and religion are being compromised. Instead, their focusing on the fact that an LGBT group wouldn’t be given the same permission to congregate. “I think it is hypocritical though to argue freedom of speech, because if LGBT people decided to have their own march it would be trouble,” says activist Angela Jackson. “If it was publicized like this Love March, it is possible… that violence could erupt.”
Prime minister Portia Simpson-Miller, who has demanded tolerance for the country’s LGBT population, has remained silent about the rally.