JFLAG calls upon Senate to do the Noble Thing

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In a press release today (Wednesday, March 30) the Jamaica Forum for All-sexuals and Gays called upon the members of the Upper house of Parliament to ensure that they capitalize on the present opportunity to decisively protect the human rights of all Jamaicans. The Senate is expected to meet for two days beginning the 31st March, to discuss the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms whereby it is expected the Bill will be passed with complete Bi-partisan support.

All Rights are for All People

J-FLAG has noted that by “Passing the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms without clear recognition that disability, health status and sexual orientation are the grounds for non-discrimination in Section 13 (3)(i) would be to undermine the strides that have been made globally to guarantee human rights for all persons in a society. At a minimum, J-FLAG proposes that Section 13 (3)(i) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms simply reads ‘the right to freedom from discrimination”.

J-Flag’s press release represents an appeal to the collective conscience of the Senate, as this is the final Parliamentary hurdle that the bill is required to clear. The Senate may choose to amend the Bill on the floor of the house. However, should the Senate choose this route; the Bill will be sent back to the Lower House for further deliberations by Members of Parliament (MPs). MPs can impose their will on the Senate by re-submitting the original Bill to the Senate whereby Senators must approve the Submission.

The Senate (or Upper House of the Jamaican Parliament) is made up of 21 senators, with thirteen (13) so selected on the basis of recommendations by the Prime Minister and eight (8) by the Leader of the Opposition. All senators are appointed by the Governor-General.  The role of the Senate is usually to operate as a review body for Bills passed by the lower house (the House of Representatives).

To see a full text of the JFLAG press release please click OPPORTUNITY RIPE FOR SENATE TO SECURE RIGHTS OF ALL_March30_2011[1]. The list of Senators is:

  1. Senator Dr. The Hon. Oswald Harding – President
  2. Senator the Hon. Dorothy Casieta Lightbourne – Leader of Government Business
  3. Senator the Hon. Dwight Augustus Nelson, CD
  4. Senator Kamina Johnson Smith
  5. Senator the Hon. Arthur Hugh Washington Williams
  6. Senator Aundre Christopher Franklin
  7. Senator Warren Meaden Newby
  8. Senator Hyacinth Deloris Bennett
  9. Senator Dennis Meadows
10.  Senator Desmond Anthony Augustus McKenzie
11.  Senator Thomas George Lewis Tavares-Finson
12.  Senator the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte
13.  Senator Ian Murray
OPPOSITION
14.  Senator Arnold Joseph Nicholson, QC – Leader of Opposition Business
15.  Senator Navel Foster Clarke
16.  Senator Sandrea May Falconer
17.  Senator Mark Jefferson Golding
18.  Senator Norman Washington Grant
19.  Senator Keith Desmond St. Aubyn Knight, QC
20.  Senator Noel Bancroft Sloley
21.  Senator Basil Llewellyn M’Wallimu Burnett Waite
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One thought on “JFLAG calls upon Senate to do the Noble Thing

  1. KMT ….

    Dem shoulda impress on the Parliament from way back in 2006 or before when the Lawyers’ Christian Fellwship (LCF) impressed on the MPs to remove the wording that hinted in their eyes an opening up homosexuality to Jamaica.

    Flag’s push now is to little too late further more the push for the bill to be moved in the upper house by the JLP seems to be well timed in conjunction with the UN Universal Periodic Review in March to make us look good in the UN’s eyes while sidelining the hot button issue of the sexual orientation and the judicial killing matter where we voted against it.

    Luv

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