South & Latin America » Caribbean - Jamaica
Gay Guide Caribbean - Jamaica
Under sections 76-79 of the Jamaican Penal Code, sodomy and, by definition, sexual acts between men are prohibited, but not between women. The organisation Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has been fighting against the harsh punishments since 1998, including up to 10 years in labour camps. However, the law is rarely applied nowadays. In 1962 Jamaica was the first country to constitutionally prohibit marriage between people of the same sex. In 2019, both the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition party spoke out against changing this law and a possible legalisation of marriage for homosexuals. This was preceded by a petition by the queer activist Maurice Tomlinson, who asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to review the law on the grounds that the said constitutional paragraph violated provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights. The Toronto-based lawyer Tomlinson, who is a native Jamaican, is one of the most prominent faces of the Jamaican queer movement. Many Jamaicans are strictly Christian and claim that their homophobic attitude were justified by the Church's attitude to this issue. Violence against lesbians and gays is commonplace and is encouraged by the government's refusal to change the current situation. The British Honorary Consul, John Terry, was murdered in September 2009. A homophobic crime is denied by local police authorities. The first Pride Week took place in Jamaica in August 2015. It is already a success that this Pride Week could be held at all and that it could be ended without violent clashes. Very hesitantly, even in this very homophobic country, there seems to be a development towards a less negative attitude towards homosexuals. In 2019, several Pride events were boycotted by the mayor of Montego Bay and a city council member - they prevented the rental of venues and venues to queer activists. This eventually led to the cancellation of all planned events.
Cities in Caribbean - Jamaica
|Black River||Port Antonio|
International country code: 1 876
International access code: 011
Currency: 1 Jamaican Dollar (J$) = 100 Cents
Religions: 56% Protestant, 2% Catholic
Climate: Tropical climate, hot and humid. The interior is more moderate. Peak tourist season is from Dec-Apr.