With some 2,050,771 Jamaicans claiming affiliation to a religion, it would appear the church community, which has been standing firm against gay-rights activists in recent days, might be able to put up a formidable defense against those seeking to have the government repeal the country’s sodomy law.
Just recently, one prominent clergyman shouted from his pulpit that he was prepared to die to ensure that Jamaica does not succumb to pressure from gay rights activists.
The statement from the executive director of the Church of God in Jamaica, Reverend Lenworth Anglin, followed that of another pastor, Reverend Al Miller, who declared last week that “a group of concerned pastors and leaders” have stated their willingness to mobilize and resist any attempts to tamper with the country’s constitution as it relates to the sodomy law.
“We certainly have the numbers,” Anglin told The Gleaner yesterday.
Data from the latest Population and Housing Census appear to support Anglin’s claim. They indicate that some 129,554 Jamaicans are affiliated with a Church of God denomination.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church alone accounts for some 322,228, making it the denomination with the highest affiliation in numbers in Jamaica.
The Rastafarian religion, which is well known for its intolerance of homosexuality, has an affiliation number of 29,026.
But as the gay community and the church continue on what appears to be a collision course, yesterday one social commentator, who refrained from saying the level of impact the church is likely to have in helping to prevent any repeal of the sodomy law, stopped just short of saying that recent comments from some clergymen might help to fuel even greater hostility among Jamaicans toward the gay community.
Read more in the Jamaica-Gleaner