Jamaica’s Prime Minister says he’d be open to a gay person serving in his government
The Prime Minister of Jamaica has said he would not object to a gay person serving in his cabinet.
Andrew Holness, the country’s leader since 2016, went against comments by one of his predecessors who proclaimed gay people should be banned from high office.
Jamaica has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the crime of sodomy.
Asked if he would ban gay person from serving under him, Holness said: “Absolutely not.”
“Firstly, it’s not my business, neither is it my interest. Whatever is in my discretion to distribute politically, a person’s sexuality or sexual orientation is not a criteria for the use of my discretion.”
Jamaica has been described by some human rights groups as the most homophobic country in the world because of the high level of violent crime directed at LGBT people.
Pressed on how slowly Jamaican society is progressing in its attitudes he said: “I think that Jamaica ought to be given space to find its own solution to the problem.”
”The culture is evolving. The people are evolving. Even in the church, which 10 years ago had a unified position (against homosexuality), the church in Jamaica now has multiple positions on the issue,” Holness said.
He told a gathered audience for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that the issue of homosexuality is not one that modern Jamaica is afraid to address.
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