JAMAICA Observer columnist Betty Ann Blaine has come under fire from the lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transsexual community for her column entitled ‘The big gay lie’, which appeared in Tuesday’s edition of the paper.
A website, antigayfact.wordpress.com, has dubbed Blaine an anti-gay activist.
“Betty Ann Blaine happens to be one of the anti-gay activists that AGFC keeps a close eye on,” a report on the website stated.
But Blaine was far from amused Tuesday and said that she considered the statement a veiled threat.
“This is of great concern to me. What does ‘keep a close eye on’ mean? I don’t know if they have me on a hit list. Is someone stalking me? Does it mean I am under surveillance? This is amazing,” Blaine told the Jamaica Observer.
In her column, Blaine made reference to a Sunday Observer article in which former Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green attempted to debunk a claim by gay rights group Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays that gays who are the victims of murder are killed by homophobic Jamaicans. Green said his investigations have unearthed evidence that most of the killings he investigated were committed by other gay persons.
The website also took issue with Green’s statements and alleged that the article, titled Gay claims not true, was part of this newspaper’s ‘anti-gay propaganda machinery’.
Tuesday, Blaine rubbished claims that she was an anti-gay activist and defended her right to free speech.
“All I have done is speak the truth. I love everybody. I don’t care if they are gay or straight, but I don’t support the lifestyle or behaviour,” she said.
JFLAG has long advocated a repeal of the buggery legislation, which outlaws anal sex. Under the law, an offender can receive a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Blaine, however, said the law should remain in place until deviant sexual behaviour by adults toward minors is eliminated.
“We are not changing the buggery law. The number of children who are being buggered in Jamaica means we can’t change the law until we can be assured that our children will be protected from sexual predators. This is the time to strengthen laws that refer to sexual behaviour because we know that children are being buggered in Jamaica and it is happening behind closed doors and in secret places,” Blaine said.
She argued that most children who are vulnerable to sexual abuse are from underprivileged backgrounds.
“We cannot change the buggery law until we fix poverty. It is because a lot of children are so poor why they face sexual abuse, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual,” she said.