The retired Anglican bishop of Kingston, Jamaica, the Right Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson, has called for the repeal of Jamaica’s anti-gay “buggery law”.
by Colin Stewart
Retired clergyman says sexuality and gender in all of its forms are gifts from God
Retired Anglican Bishop of Kingston, the Right Reverend Dr Robert Thompson has called for the buggery law to be repealed.
And he has urged persons interested in that becoming a reality to agitate for that to be done.
He made the calls at Wednesday’s launch of Intimate Conviction 2, hosted by the HIV Legal Network, Anglicans for Decriminalisation and its Caribbean partners, in Jamaica.
However, Reverend Thompson stressed that in addition to the law being repealed, people in society must be more open to each other, despite differences in sexual orientation.
“Our sexuality and gender in all its diverse forms are gifts from God that should be celebrated rather than classed as sinful or shameful things that distract from our holiness or our spiritual growth,” he contended.
“Instead of seeing LGBTQ individuals pejoratively . . . as sexual deviants, we can experience them as equally loved by God and capable of [enriching] lives in communion with the divine in all its forms. Christian sexual ethics fails badly when it ignores the body’s grace as the authentic medium for intimacy.
“You cannot have intimate conviction or even a conversation about intimacy, and exclude the body,” he added.
The retired Bishop also suggested that it was not for the authorities to pronounce on sexuality.
“We assume that there is an area of human experience called sexuality which is of immense importance, something which needs to be sorted out before anyone can claim to be leading a mature and fulfilled human life. And isn’t this part of the problem where, in fact, people in authority feel that they have a right to sort out others who may or may not be having conflicts about their own sexuality?” he questioned.
“The world of Jesus and Paul would not have recognised such a task as being central to their message of the Gospel. They knew about marriage as complicated bundles of family arrangements, they knew that young males were most likely to resist promptings towards sexual involvement and generally did their best to stop it. However, they would have been puzzled to see all this brought together under a single heading or to be asked about their sexuality.”
Laws that criminalise consensual same-sex intimacy still exist in more than 60 countries, including in the Caribbean.
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