The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexualities, and Gays (J-FLAG) challenged the findings presented in the 2022 Don Anderson poll which revealed that the majority of Jamaicans are against changing the buggery laws in the country.
Currently, in Jamaica, same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the Offences Against the Person Act 1864, which criminalizes acts of buggery and gross indecency. This law carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment with hard labour and only men are criminalized under this law.
Recent findings concluded found that 80% of Jamaicans are against removing or changing the buggery laws, 12% agreed for it to be decriminalized, and 8% were unsure. However, J-FLAG disagrees with the findings and believes that a survey conducted by the community in 2019 is of more significance than that of the RJRGLEANER Don Anderson poll.
According to Glenroy Murray, the Executive Director of J-FLAG, he noted that 1,043 interviews were done from 100 enumeration districts across the island. It revealed that 50% of Jamaicans had positive attitudes on issues such as equal access to education, however, only 67% of the respondents disapprove of amending the laws to decriminalize same-sex intimacy.
Nonetheless, the question left pondering is if the Jamaican society, one that for years has openly denounced the LGBTQIA+ community is finally becoming more accepting. Also, will there soon be a change in the laws to protect and support the voice of these people?