Election results are in and the ruling Labor Party’s appeal to homophobia did not save them from economically driven discontent. The People’s National Party won elections by a landslide.
The two parties are not starkly different and the new Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller will be challenged in finding solutions for the debt ridden and deeply impoverished nation.
But gay Jamaicans are without doubt celebrating the change in leadership. While no promises were made, the PNP has stated a willingness to at least consider revisiting the colonial-era sodomy law. And with the Labor Party’s last minute effort to make the election a referendum on institutionalized homophobia, there may even be a publicly accepted perception that it’s time for a lessening of the cultural revulsion towards gay people.
While I don’t predict any immediate adoption of pro-gay positions in what Time once labeled the Most Homophobic Place on Earth, this election is without question a cause for celebration.