J-FLAG Calls for CARICOM to end Gay Discrimination

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Montego Bay — July 4, 2010
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) mounted a Stand Up to CARICOM across from the entrance to the Hilton Rose Hall Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica, the site of the 31st CARICOM Heads of Government meeting.
Expressing satisfaction at the outcome of the morning’s proceedings, Jason McFarlane, Programme Manager of J-FLAG said that “the decision was made to mount this Stand because of the continued presence of anti-buggery laws in 11 of the 14 member states in CARICOM which contribute to discrimination, marginalization and other serious human rights violations of CARICOM citizens. J-FLAG therefore calls for the immediate repeal of such laws and the full integration of LGBTI citizens into the CARICOM family”. The group bore placards calling for the repeal of the anti-buggery laws, as well as an end to gay discrimination and improved human rights for all citizens in CARICOM.
Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS Free World and who was one of the participants expressed his organization’s support stating that such actions are necessary to raise awareness within CARICOM about the rights of LGBTI, including the right to an adequate standard of health. He further stated that anti-buggery laws and discriminatory practices undermine the regional fight against HIV by driving gays underground, away from effective HIV prevention, treatment and care.
The group was able to stand peacefully for 17 minutes before they were asked by police to relocate due to the sensitive nature of the site. The group complied and thanked the police for their professionalism in handling the situation.

Sections 76-79 of the Offences Against the Person Act

Unnatural Offences

76. Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years.

77. Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, with or without hard labour.

Proof of Carnal Knowledge

78. Whenever upon the trial of any offence punishable under this Act, it may be necessary to prove carnal knowledge, it shall not be necessary to prove the actual emission of seed in order to constitute a carnal knowledge, but the carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete upon proof of penetration only.

Outrages on Decency

79. Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour.

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