Reverend Garnett Roper, President of the Jamaica Theological Seminary, has declared his support for decriminalization of the practice of buggery in Jamaican law, arguing, among other things, that repeal of the legal prohibition should not be equated with promotion of homosexuality.
“Buggery/anal sex is a moral matter that is between consenting persons; it is a choice which I do not approve of, but that does not make it a criminal act, and what the… 1864 law (Section 61 of the Offences Against the Person Act) does is to make it criminal with a maximum punishment of ten years in prison,” he said in an interview on RJR’s That’s a Rap, on Sunday.
Reverend Roper was responding, in part, to a submission last week by Bishop Howard Gregory, head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and The Cayman Islands.
The Gleaner newspaper, reporting on Gregory’s submission to the parliamentary committee considering amendments to the relevant statutes, said he cautioned Christians against believing in the view that they must be the gatekeepers of the law against buggery in order to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
"This submission does not accept the cause and effect relationship which is being introduced into this matter, neither is it advocating homosexual marriages," he said.
Roper, offering support for Bishop Gregory’s position, also cautioned against “belligerent attitudes by sections of the Church” on the matter of homosexuality, treating it as an ideological matter.
Click on the audio icon above to listen to Reverend Roper’s interview with That’s a Rap host Earl Moxam.