Jamaicans Rally to Keep Anti-Sodomy Law

1.5K take part in revival meetings led by pastors

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 24, 2013 8:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – About 1,500 Jamaicans rallied over a 149-year-old anti-sodomy law yesterday—and not to repeal it, as one might assume. The country's Supreme Court will hear a rare challenge to the 1864 law tomorrow, so pastors yesterday led two revival meetings to decry the growing acceptance of homosexuality. Attendees, dressed in their church best, carried signs insisting that marriage remain between a man and a woman or that the law—which bars any sort of sexual relationship between consenting men—be kept in place.

Gay rights activists are trying to "take over the world" by challenging laws like these, said one pastor who spoke at the rally, warning that if this law is repealed, the activists will next try to "make it a criminal offense to speak against the homosexual lifestyle." Gay activists say the mostly-Christian island nation is the most anti-gay in all of the Caribbean, and that homosexuals are often abused. Currently, anyone breaking the so-called "buggery law" faces 10 years in prison, the AP reports.

Jamaican churchgoers chant during an anti-gay rally in Kingston, Jamaica, Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Jamaican churchgoers chant during an anti-gay rally in Kingston, Jamaica, Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/David McFadden)
Jamaican churchgoers pray during an anti-gay rally in Kingston, Jamaica, Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Jamaican churchgoers pray during an anti-gay rally in Kingston, Jamaica, Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/David McFadden)
Jamaican churchgoers hold signs while attending an anti-gay rally in Kingston, Jamaica, Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Jamaican churchgoers hold signs while attending an anti-gay rally in Kingston, Jamaica, Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/David McFadden)
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