Days before Jamaicans head to the polls, leader of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Portia Simpson-Miller, dropped an election debate bombshell, saying she wouldn’t have a problem with gays serving in her administration and would appoint them if they were the right people for the job, Natasha Barsotti reports in the xtra.ca blog site.
“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 in protecting the human rights of all Jamaicans, and that no one should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, she added. Simpson-Miller also raised the potential of reviewing the island-nation’s homophobic 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 Jamaican 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?”
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Interestingly, Gay Star News notes that the PNP is fielding “a non-gender conforming candidate” who has reportedly borne 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 Gleaner indicates that Holness has lost some of his lustre, even as most Jamaicans still think he would do a better job as Prime Minister.
For the original report go to http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2011/12/23/Glimmer-of-hope-for-Jamaicas-gays.aspx