Jamaican gay men are warned to keep their sexuality "out of sight" or risk violence by the most unlikely of persons: The island's public defender.
Public Defender Earl Witter resorted to the vernacular yesterday as he advised members of the gay community to "hold your corners", and avoid flaunting their sexual preferences in the face of those who are repulsed by their behaviour.
Condemning violence in all forms, particularly against homosexuals, the public defender, however, warned members of the gay community that if they continued to shove their tendencies on others who found it repugnant, it might incite violence.
"It may provoke a violent breach of the peace," Mr. Witter told The Gleaner.
Witter's office is charged with investigating police misconduct and other abuses.
He told a Rotary Club meeting that "brazen" gay men "may yet flaunt their wares, so to speak, and excite violence and mayhem, and what good can possibly come of that?"
The bizaare official warning came just days after an alleged gay couple reportedly complained to the Western Mirror newspaper in Montego Bay "and threatened staff over a story which alleged that gays were responsible for the shortage of women's underwear in the city." Initial reports suggested these two men were the "well known gay couple" anonymously referenced in the story, supposedly behind the panty-shopping spree. Later press reports embellished this to suggest a gay mob descended upon the editorial offices.
Public Defender Witter reminded audiences that "buggery remained an offence punishable by imprisonment at hard labour." The politician suggested that authorities take the lead and publicly advocate for greater tolerance of gay men, but, in the meantime, "tolerance has its limits."
Makes the Bush Administration and Republican Party seem gay-friendly, no?
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