In Jamaica, Gay Rights Now an Issue Worth Debating

In Jamaica, Gay Rights Now an Issue Worth Debating

A call by Deputy Education Minister Donald Rhodd to discuss the possible repeal of Victorian-era laws criminalizing homosexuality has provoked predictable outrage among conservative Jamaicans. But gays here see the chance for debate as a glimmer of hope that they may one day be able to move out from the shadows.

Criticized by Human Rights Watch a year ago for fostering a climate of violent homophobia, Jamaica lately has joined other Caribbean countries in taking steps toward acknowledging that discrimination and denial have proved counterproductive in efforts to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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