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Jamaica's Prime Minister happy for gay person to serve in cabinet

Andrew Holness said the country isn't afraid to discuss homosexuality which is illegal

2018-04-20

Jamaica’s Prime Minister is happy for a gay person to serve in his cabinet.

Andrew Holness was elected as the country’s leader back in 2016 and opposed comments made by one of his predecessors who claimed gay people should be banned from high office.

Currently the country has a penalty of life imprisonment for the crime of sodomy, and recently said that it will take a long time for the country to decriminalise buggery.

However, Holness has spoke out about having a gay person serving under him and said it’s not his “business”.

When asked if he would ban a gay person, he said: “Absolutely not.

“Firstly, it’s not my business, neither is it my interest.

“Whatever is in my discretion to distribute politically, a person’s sexuality or sexual orientation is not a criteria for the use of my discretion.

Jamaica has often been dubbed on of the most homophobic countries in the world due to the high level of violent crime towards the LGBT community.

He said: “I think that Jamaica ought to be given space to find its own solution to the problem.

“The culture is evolving. The people are evolving. Even in the church, which 10 years ago had a unified position [against homosexuality], the church in Jamaica now has multiple positions on the issue.”

While speaking at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, he said that homosexuality is something the country isn’t afraid to address.

“The truth is that, in the past, like many developed countries now, there was a very conservative view on these matters,” he added.

“Jamaica is a part of Western culture. We are generally liberally orientated; we are very well connected into the world.

“Jamaica is going through its own process – just as Europe did 50 years ago and some probably 20 years ago or more recent than that.

“And it can be very frustrating for Jamaicans to understand what is happening – to feel a little bit targeted sometimes.”