Is Jamaica Homophobic?

Question: Why are homosexual acts illegal in Jamaica?

Bruce Golding: It is rooted in a number of things.  Firstly, we are a predominately a Christian country and a fervently Christian country.  It may not be reflected entirely in terms of how we live sometimes, but we are passionately committed to certain basic Christian principles, which [...] homosexuality.  But we have become quite tolerant.  We are tolerant provided that homosexual lifestyle does not invade our space.  And what do I mean by that?  Persons who wish, because of their own inclination, to live in a homosexual relationship, do so in Jamaica and there are many such persons in Jamaica.  The society in Jamaica in general do not want to be... do not want it to be flaunted.  They don’t want it to be sort of thrown into the face, because there are some real fears.  There are some real fears.  The basic unit of a society is a family, and there is a passionate concern in Jamaica about protecting the integrity of the family.  And it is felt that encouragement or recognition of the appropriateness of the homosexual lifestyle is going to undermine the effectiveness of that family unit and, in that process, undermine the basic fabric of a society. 

But I think much of what has been carried in the international media in terms of homophobia in Jamaica is grossly exaggerated. Homosexuals in Jamaica, they live and they enjoy their relationship.  They are intermingled with heterosexuals, they have normal relations with heterosexuals, but they do have their private relationships.  And so long is that is so, I don’t believe that the people in Jamaica are going to be particularly perturbed.

What is illegal in Jamaica is buggery, which is in fact making homosexual acts illegal.  There have been very, very few prosecutions; very, very few.  And in most instances, there are prosecutions because there is a complaint by a victim.  So that it’s not the flashpoint issue that many people in the international media claim that it is. 

Recorded on September 25, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman

The country's fervent Christianity and respect for family is why "buggery" remains illegal in the country, says the prime minister. But "we are tolerant provided that homosexual lifestyle does not invade our space."

Do you worry too much? Stoicism can help

How imagining the worst case scenario can help calm anxiety.

Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY via Getty Images
Personal Growth
  • Stoicism is the philosophy that nothing about the world is good or bad in itself, and that we have control over both our judgments and our reactions to things.
  • It is hardest to control our reactions to the things that come unexpectedly.
  • By meditating every day on the "worst case scenario," we can take the sting out of the worst that life can throw our way.
Keep reading Show less

Study: People will donate more to charity if they think something’s in it for them

A study on charity finds that reminding people how nice it feels to give yields better results than appealing to altruism.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Personal Growth
  • A study finds asking for donations by appealing to the donor's self-interest may result in more money than appealing to their better nature.
  • Those who received an appeal to self-interest were both more likely to give and gave more than those in the control group.
  • The effect was most pronounced for those who hadn't given before.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. Navy controls inventions that claim to change "fabric of reality"

Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.

Credit: Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
  • Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
  • While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
Keep reading Show less

160-million-year-old ‘Monkeydactyl’ was the first animal to develop opposable thumbs

The 'Monkeydactyl' was a flying reptile that evolved highly specialized adaptations in the Mesozoic Era.

Credit: Zhou et al.
Surprising Science
  • The 'Monkeydactly', or Kunpengopterus antipollicatus, was a species of pterosaur, a group of flying reptiles that were the first vertebrates to evolve the ability of powered flight.
  • In a recent study, a team of researchers used microcomputed tomography scanning to analyze the anatomy of the newly discovered species, finding that it was the first known species to develop opposable thumbs.
  • As highly specialized dinosaurs, pterosaurs boasted unusual anatomy that gave them special advantages as aerial predators in the Mesozoic Era.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast