Glimmer of hope for Jamaica's gays?
Days before Jamaicans head to the polls, Portia Simpson-Miller, leader of the opposition People's National Party (PNP), dropped an election debate bombshell, saying she wouldn't have a problem with gays serving in her administration and would appoint someone gay if that person was right for the job.
"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 that the human rights of all Jamaicans should be protected and that no one should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, she added.
Simpson-Miller also raised the possibility of reviewing the island nation's buggery 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 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?"
Check out Holness's reply here:
Interestingly, Gay Star News notes that the PNP is fielding "a non-gender-conforming candidate" who has reportedly been 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 the better job as prime minister.
Election day is Dec 29.