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Poll: Keep law on buggery


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Poll: Keep law on buggery

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KINGSTON – Nearly all Jamaicans believe the government should keep legislation banning men having sex with men, according to an opinion poll published here on Monday.

The poll, conducted on behalf of the Gleaner newspaper, found that 91 per cent of Jamaicans believe lawmakers should make no attempt to repeal the controversial buggery law, which makes it a criminal offence for people to engage in anal sex.

The Bill Johnson Poll was conducted during the period September 6-7 and 13-14 and included interviews with 1 208 residents. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.

The poll found that only five per cent of those questioned felt the law should be abolished and just four per cent said they did not know.

The pollsters also found that 82 per cent of Jamaicans did not believe homosexual men were not treated fairly by either the legal system or the police in Jamaica.

According to the polls, 10 per cent said they were treated the same, while eight per cent said they did not know.

However, 68 per cent said they should not have the same rights as others, while 26 per cent said they should, and six per cent did not know.

At the same time, 79 per cent said lesbians are not treated the same as others by the police and courts, 13 per cent believe they are treated equally, and eight per cent did not know.

But 65 per cent believe they should not have the same rights as other people under the Jamaican legal system, 30 per cent said they should, and five per cent did not know.

In 2008, a Johnson poll found that 70 per cent of Jamaicans believe homosexuals and lesbians should not be entitled to the same basic rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual Jamaicans.

The Gleaner newspaper said that the findings are likely to leave the local homosexual community crestfallen and could serve as a signal to legislators whenever Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller makes good on her commitment to have Parliament engage in a conscience vote on whether or not to repeal the buggery act. (CMC)

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