We are Jamaicans who believe that everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, social status, age, sex or sexual orientation. This is why we are in support of Javed Jaghai's Supreme Court case which is asking for the amendment of the current "Offence Against the Person's Act" (buggery law).
This law from 1864 outlaws intimacy between men and makes no distinction between consensual and non-nonsexual anal intercourse. In addition, the law makes the maximum penalty for anal rape less than the penalty for vaginal rape.
We are petitioning the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, to intercede by formally supporting Javed's right to challenge this law, which has no place in a modern democracy. We are also petitioning the Prime Minister to follow through on her pre-election promises to hold a "conscience vote" on the buggery law. While the legislature may reflect the will of the majority, the Supreme Court has an obligation to dispassionately consider the merits of Javed's case and to ensure that his constitutional rights are recognized and protected.
We are also calling upon the Prime Minister to champion a legislative effort to rectify the inadequacies of Jamaica's rape laws. Currently, rape is defined as vaginal penetration by a penis without consent and carries a sentence of fifteen years to life imprisonment, while anal penetration by a penis is under the purview of the buggery law and only merits 10 years imprisonment. Therefore, it is implied that men cannot be raped and that the trauma of anal rape is less consequential than vaginal rape
Donya Jamaican Clayton
By signing this petition to Jamaica's prime minister, you will be helping us to put pressure on the prime minister to follow through on her promise to hold a conscience vote on the "buggery law". You will also be contributing to raising awareness of the discrimination and violence faced by the majority of Jamaica's LGBT community; people like Javed Jaghai, the brave young man who is challenging the "buggery law" in Jamaica's supreme court this month (October 2013)
Javed was evicted from his home because of his sexual orientation. The homeowner argued that, as a gay man, Javed would break the law by engaging in intimate acts with other men on the premises.
Sadly, Javed's experience is not uncommon; gay Jamaicans endure almost daily intrusions into their privacy. In 2005, two middle-aged men were convicted under the anti-sodomy law when a passing policeman viewed them through their bedroom window. In even more extreme cases, armed mobs have invaded the homes of homosexuals in an attempt to evict them; in other cases, homophobic neighbors have stoned and torched premises because they belonged to homosexuals or their families. Even 11-year-old LGBT youth have been turned out on the street by family members, and the mere suspicion of homosexuality can earn someone an abrupt eviction, or worse.
We are seeking equality for ALL Jamaicans. It is time to STOP the hate, the violence and the discrimination against gay Jamaicans. We are all brothers and sisters.
Let us work diligently to live up to the motto of Jamaica: Out of Many, One people. We cannot truly claim to be a free people until all Jamaicans are freed from the bondage of prejudice and discrimination. Our laws must recognize the inherent dignity of every Jamaican citizen and must align with constitutional principles of equality.
Please sign the petition as a demonstration of your duty to help create an inclusive Jamaica.