UN Wants Jamaica to Abolish 'Buggery' Laws
BY Neal Broverman
November 05 2011 7:15 PM ET
The United Nations' Human Rights Committee wants changes in Jamaica — namely an end to bans on same-sex behavior, as well as new laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people.
An advanced copy of a Human Rights Committee report was obtained by the Jamaican gay rights group J-FLAG. The committee recommends that Jamaica's "State party should amend its laws with a view to prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. The State party should also decriminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex, in order to bring its legislation into line with the Covenant and put an end to prejudices and the social stigmatization of homosexuality. In this regard, the State party should send a clear message that it does not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination or violence against persons for their sexual orientation, and should ensure that individuals, who incite violence against homosexuals, are investigated, prosecuted and properly sanctioned."
The Committee also condemned music by Jamaican artists that incites violence against LGBT people.
The UN also wants Jamaica to raise HIV awareness and change the deep social stigma that exists there for people with the disease. The intensely negative attitudes towards people with HIV, who are almost assumed to be gay, hampers treatment and prevention efforts in the island nation, the Committee warned. Read more at J-FLAG's website.
Recently, Britain announced that it will cut aid to antigay nations in Africa; it's not clear if it will affect money going to Jamaica. Last month, Australia pressured all Commonwealth nations, which includes Jamaica, to end antigay laws.
The UN this week also called for changes in Iran's dealings with LGBT people.
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