Church, State & My Civil Liberties – An Open Letter to Jamaica’s Prime Minister.

Dear Madam Prime Minister,

Over the years, I’ve taken a very relaxed approach in regards to commenting and discussing matters of sexuality and civil rights for minority groups.

In recent times, however, I’ve decided to use my platform to slowly educate, bring awareness and tolerance to the very sensitive issues which affect not just me directly, but thousands of disenfranchised & discriminated gay Jamaicans.

At the start of the year, I was able to publicly declare my sexuality, which made the headline of one of Jamaica’s entertainment tabloids and several website across the world. Whilst my coming to the forefront was PR endeavor well executed it was a signal not just to my family , friends or colleagues but my fellow citizens that a change is upon us – one to embrace.

Since then, the homosexuality debate has taken spotlight in Jamaica, ahead of pressing economic and other social issues. With last-nights gathering of an estimated100,000 at the nations capital signaling political parties, groups, lobbyist that the country will not repeal the buggery law or bow to homophobic pressure. It’s more evident that I too must take to the fore and defend the cause- civil rights for Gay Jamaicans.

I’m no activist, never saw myself as one but I’ve always seen myself speaking on behalf of those who aren’t availed with the opportunity to speak or those who can’t defend themselves against archaic laws, ignorance and arrogance.

The church has been strong in their pursuit to cast aside homosexuality over the years. Whilst I strongly disagree with their involvement in matters of the state, their resolve shouldn’t be to cast aside but rather seeking an atmosphere of inclusiveness, since the one in whom they place Faith and fate (Jesus) preached for acceptance.

The church which should be preaching and assisting various organizations to find middle ground, has seem to lose sight of the simple principles that Jesus taught and or introduced to replace Mosaic Laws.Who gives Christians, the moral right and or authority to cast blame or judgement?? History has shown that they too have been persecuted. Now has the persecuted has become the persecutor? When will the cycle be broken?

When will Jamaica show true separation of power, i.e Law, Governance and The Church. As long as these entities coexist, we won’t be able to find justice, equality and fairness. As what may be justified under law goes against the codes of morality and visa versa. The same emphasis we Jamaicans place on sexuality, should be demonstrated towards furthering economic growth, developing the nations youth, elevating social standards and reducing corruption, crime and violence.

Holding mass demonstrations, rather than consultation will only help to keep our nation shackled to the negative image being portrayed beyond our borders, leading to further boycotts, lack of investments and separation from the global community and allies.

President Obama in his 2013 inauguration speech stated “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.” If the President of one of the world’s most powerful countries can rally its citizens to embrace such change; why can’t an island display such resolve?

June 29th, 2014 marked a sad day in Jamaica’s history. With such a prolific stand I was deeply sadden and embarrassed about what transpired. I felt homeless. If the land of my birth couldn’t respect and protect me it’s own offspring, by availing the same rights and protection as everyone else. Then why should I continue to bear allegiance? It was on that day, that moment, I started contemplating and seeking advise in matters of renouncing my citizenship.

Who would have thought that any government, and church would directly or indirectly condone such stance in this day and age. How did we get here? How will we move beyond this point? How many more must die, be cast out, be discriminated against? When will we realize that we have international obligations and local ones as well? When will our nations motto “Out Of Many One People” become a reality?

To the church, – “Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Revelation 22:14-15 KJV)

To you Madam Prime Minister, when will your government take charge on the issue? When will you return from silence to address the nation? When will our motto and the laws of the land act in unison?

It’s time we discuss the issue like an educated society, rather than demonstrate and act like illiterates.

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