Kingston, Jamaica – The Government of Jamaica is once again under pressure by a member of the local LGBT community to take decisive actions against hate and intolerance directed at its citizens who identify as either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. This time by refusing entry to an American Anti-LGBT Pastor who is scheduled to arrive on the Island January 29 through February 3.
The local Jamaican activist, Jay John, posted his petition to Change.org where he noted that Steven Anderson, the pastor in question, celebrated the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida where 49 people were shot to death and 58 others wounded. Anderson has also expressed the view that gay men should be stoned to death and has spoken against women’s rights.
His literal interpretation of the Bible regarding killing of gay people should not be echoed in a society like Jamaica. -Jay John
Anderson has been banned from Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa and was deported from Botswana because of his hate filled rhetoric. The “Mission Team” is expected to visit a number of schools, distribute literature and build houses for needy Jamaicans.
Acting Executive Director at J-Flag, Jaevion Nelson, in responding to a request for a comment on the upcoming visit lamented the ease at which visitors are allowed to enter into schools and spread potentially divisive messages to the nation’s children.
We are therefore deeply concerned about his visit. As a society, our motto celebrates diversity and respect, and so we are mindful of the impact this can have on our efforts as a country to promote respect. We hope that the relevant authorities will take the necessary steps to monitor his visit and ensure that messages which promote hate, disrespect and violence are not tolerated. -Jaevion Nelson, Actg. Executive Director, J-FLAG
Currently, the Government of Jamaica is engaged in a legal battle with another prominent local LGBT activist, Maurice Tomlinson, who filed a constitutional challenge against the buggery laws last year. The case is still before the courts. The Government has yet to make a statement on the petition.
We the people are asking the Jamaican government to show leadership and stand as an example to fellow Caribbean countries to denounce terrorism and violence against marginalized groups. -Jay John