Poll: Over 90% of Jamaicans Support Anti-Gay Law

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Tuesday October 7, 2014

A new poll finds that more than 90 percent of Jamaicans said they support the country's sodomy law, which criminalizes gay sex between men, saying the measure should not be repealed, the Jamaica Gleaner reports.

The newspaper's poll, found that just five percent said the law should be repealed and 4 percent said they didn't know.

On the flip side, 82 percent of Jamaicans said they believed gay men were not treated fairly by the government and the police. Ten percent said they were treated the same and eight percent said they didn't know. But, 68 percent said gay men should not have the same rights as others while 26 percent said they should.

Nearly 80 percent of Jamaicans the government and police do not treat lesbians the same as others while 13 percent thought otherwise.

When it came to the transgender community, 85 percent said they believed trans people or people who cross-dressed were not treated the same as others. Eight percent said they were treated the same while seven percent said they didn't know. More than 70 percent said transgender people should not have the same rights as others, while 23 percent said they should.

The poll interviewed 1,208 Jamaicans and was conducted between Sept. 6-7 and Sept. 13-14.

Under Jamaica's sodomy law, those found "guilty" punishes men who engaged in gay sex with up to 10 years in jail with labor.

The data is sure to influence the country's prime minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, who said she would have parliament vote on whether or not to repeal the sodomy law.

Simpson-Miller promised to review the law but said decimalizing gay sex was not a priority, Gay Star News points out.