Jamaica: Parents tell newspaper they would ‘disown’ gay children

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Parents in Jamaica have told a newspaper that they would ‘disown’ a gay child, or try to cure them through ‘counselling’.

The parents were answering the Jamaica Observer’s survey, which looked at attitudes towards gay people in the country, once labelled the most homophobic place on Earth.

George H, a father of four wrote: “Well, it might sound harsh but I would disown him. I’m telling you the honest truth! He would have to go and live his life and don’t get me mixed up in it.

“The way I see it, the world can’t run without families, you have to reproduce to make families, and two men can’t reproduce. So that alone should tell you that it’s wrong.”

Wayne W, who has a daughter, wrote that: “As long as she is happy, I wouldn’t kill her”, but “if I have a son who is gay that is different”, though he still might not kill him.

Olivia J, wrote: “If I have a boy and realise he was gay, he would have to leave! Him couldn’t stay in the same house with me.”

Not all the responses were negative, however, with some parents saying they would try to love their children even if they were gay.

Roxanne T, mother of one, wrote that her daughter wouldn’t be allowed to “flaunt it in my house”, but “I would have to love her just the same.”

Two respondents both said they would “try and get counselling” for gay children, to try to cure them.

Homosexuality in Jamaica is illegal, with gay men facing up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Though same-sex sexual activity in women is not against the law, both men and women face great risk of violent anti-gay attacks.