Anti-LGBTQ UK & US Christian Activists urge Jamaica to keep same-sex intercourse illegal
By Brody Levesque | KINGSTON -- Peter LaBarbera, founder of the Naperville, Illinois-based anti-gay hate group, Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), and Andrea M. Williams, the founder of UK-based Christian Concern, joined other prominent anti-LGBTQ activists at a conference organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Christian Lawyers’ Association in Kingston this past weekend, urging anti-LGBTQ activists and the government to retain Jamaica’s colonial era law banning same-sex intercourse.
According to its organisers, the conference's stated purpose was to effect better lobbying efforts against the proposed repeal. Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has suggested the law might come before the nation's Houses of Parliament for a vote, but her government has yet to take any actions.
Speaking on Saturday, LaBarbera urged the Jamaican attendees;
“Do not be like us, do not be like Britain, do not sit idly by as so-called ‘LGBT activists’ manipulate words and laws to achieve dominance in your country.”
LaBarbera reiterated the anti-gay propaganda that has formed the basis of his group's message that, “Homosexuals are made, they’re not born,”and then added, “The dirty little secret that the media and homosexual activists are desperate — desperate — to squelch is that people are coming out of homosexuality every day. This is the work of God, this is the work of Jesus,” he said referring to so-called conversation therapeutic practises endorsed by his group and a majority of the American evangelical right-wing groups.
LaBarbera, also told the conference audience that he was working on a book on the connection between “homosexual activism and pedophiles.” He said that after winning rights like marriage and protection for gay kids in schools, "homosexual" activists were now championing the rights of MAPS, or “minor-attracted persons.”
“Homosexuals are always on offense,” he said. “It’s another secret that American activists don’t like to tell is that NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, used to march in gay pride parades.”
Williams, who spoke after LaBarbera- using news of British Olympian Tom Daley's announcement last week that he was dating a man- said that gay people are not born with same-sex attraction, (Using Daley as an example) said it can be “caused” by “the lack of the father”, and “sometimes a level of abuse," suggesting a link between Daley's father’s death and his same-sex attraction.
"He [Daley] was loved by all the girls and had girlfriends, until he “lost his father to cancer just a few years ago and he’s just come out on YouTube that he’s in a relationship with a man, that man is 39, a leading gay activist in the States.”
She urged Jamaicans to turn down aid from countries such as the United States and in those in Europe who favour LGBTQ equality rights, instead fighting against the repeal of the law.
“Might it be that Jamaica says to the United States of America, says to Europe, ‘Enough! You cannot come in and attack our families. We will not accept aid or promotion tied to an agenda that is against God and destroys our families… If you win here, you will have an impact in the Caribbean and an impact across the globe.”
Jamaican Justice Minister Mark Golding told conference attendees that he hoped to raise the issue of maintaining the ban next year as part of a broader review of the Jamaica's sexual offenses law.
LaBarbera isn’t the only American spreading the anti-LGBT message overseas. According to Heidi Beirich, who heads the Southern Poverty law Center's Intelligence Project,
"As American groups opposed to LGBT rights are increasingly finding American audiences less receptive to their message, they are moving instead to spread their noxious propaganda overseas."
Anti-LGBT groups including the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom have been active in Belize in supporting its law criminalizing gay sex. That law is currently being evaluated for its constitutionality by Belize’s highest court.
Scott Lively, who made numerous trips to Uganda that resulted in increased persecution of LGBTQ Ugandans according to the LGBTQ activists there, spoke "on the evils of homosexuality, saying, among other things;
"The gay movement is an evil institution. The goal of the gay movement is to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
Lively also had met with Ugandan lawmakers and a month after his last trip in 2009, a bill was introduced in that nation's Parliament that called for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts and prison for those who fail to disclose gays’ identities.
In Jamaica, at least two LGBT people are believed to have been murdered in this past summer, while others have become the target of angry mobs, including four men who were the object of a firebomb in this last October.