Being gay in Jamaica is not easy. For years, human rights groups have denounced the harassment, beating and even killing of gays here, to little avail. No official statistic has been compiled on the number of attacks. But a recent string of especially violent, high-profile assaults has brought fresh condemnation to an island otherwise known as an easygoing tourist haven.
In times past, I have criticized the ex-gay movement, particularly members of the Exodus Global Alliance, for what I perceived as encouragement of hostilities towards gays. This article sheds light on what might well be the motivations of this branch of the Exodus family.
Since the attack, Andre said, he has been trying to undo his gayness, following a common view here that it is an acquired behavior that can be dropped if only one prays more and pays more attention to the opposite sex.
He fled Mandeville after the attack and found refuge at the home of a pastor, who now delivers at-home sermons to him on how he must change.
With the pastor standing over him, Andre said he would try to be attracted to women, if only so he would never be beaten again.
I am still waiting for those who rail against the “sin of homosexuality” to weigh in on the sin of murder. At times I wonder if the Church has spent so much effort on combatting the “immorality” of others that they haven’t completely lost their authority for fighting what is truly evil.