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Glimmer of hope for Jamaica’s gays?

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – File this under "Say

Days before Jamaicans head to the polls, Portia Simpson-Miller, leader of the
opposition People's National Party (PNP), dropped an
election debate bombshell, saying she wouldn't have a problem with gays serving
in her administration and would appoint someone gay if that person was right for
the job.

"I do not have any intention of prying into the
private business of anyone. I would appoint anyone with the ability, the
capacity and the capability in my cabinet," the Gay Star News reports.

 The PNP believes that the human rights of all
Jamaicans should be protected and that no one should be discriminated against based on their
sexual orientation, she added. 

Simpson-Miller also raised the possibility of reviewing the
island nation's buggery legislation, calling for a vote of conscience on the
law by MPs, in consultation with their constituents.

She was rebutting the balancing-on-a-tight-rope answer
the current prime minister, Andrew Holness, of the Jamaica Labour Party,
gave to the preamble and question: "Jamaica has an international
reputation for homophobia. What do
you think of former prime minister [Bruce] Golding's statement that homosexuals
were not welcome in his cabinet, and do you share that sentiment?"


Check out Holness's reply here:

Interestingly, Gay Star News notes that the PNP is
fielding "a non-gender-conforming candidate" who has reportedly been
the brunt of a homophobic campaign by the Jamaica Labour Party. It also reports
that the PNP is running another rumoured-to-be-gay candidate in the tourist
resort area of Montego Bay.

A recently concluded poll commissioned by The Jamaica
indicates that Holness has lost some of his lustre, even as most
Jamaicans still think he would do the better job as prime minister.

Election day is Dec 29.

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