U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Speaks Out Against Anti-Gay Hate

From a quite encouraging editorial by U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater, printed in yesterday's Jamaica Observer:

Bridgewater We have all read or heard of examples around the world where there has been violence perpetrated against individuals simply because of their sexual orientation.

This is, sadly, all too common. It is equally disheartening that those human rights activists defending the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people also face harassment and arrest. Also disturbing are journalists and artistes who incite hatred and violence through veiled writings and musical lyrics.

As a life-long Christian, I sometimes struggle with the religious beliefs which seem to be at odds with tolerance. Then I simply consider afresh the gospel of love, which convinces me that tolerance is in accordance with Christian faith and practice; it is at the core of Christianity. Tolerance does not ask us to abandon our faith or our values.

I understand well that every nation has its own moral standards and no nation should ignore its own moral compass. But there is also a universal moral standard that crosses all political borders. As we come into the fullness of our humanity, we must not allow hatred and violence to be what defines us. For me, it simply boils down to my belief in and hope that we all follow the advice of Matthew 7:12, and treat others as we would wish ourselves to be treated. That is why such action is called "golden".

Reaffirming the 'Golden Rule' on International Day Against Homophobia [jamaica observer]


  1. Disgusted Gay American says

    hey ambassador – whatever you say – I wouldnt waste my spit on that pit of an island nation……they can eff’n starve for all I care…I hear Buybulls taste good. They want Hate – I can Hate those bastards right back, by never spending my money there.

  2. ohplease says

    Her messsage is it’s okay to hate the people her “god” wants you to hate, but make sure to stop short of assaulting them or killing them. Because, you know, “christian” love precludes just flat-out murdering even those her “god” hates, even if you really, really, really want to murder them. But, by all means, keep your hate going, because that’s what her “god” wants.

    This irrational woman is an ambassador? This is supposed to be progress?

  3. C says

    Jamaica is one of the most homophobic places on Earth. I’d strongly encourage you to never go there and tell your straight friends and family to do the same. It’s a backwards country that doesn’t deserve one American dollar.

  4. Albert says

    As usual, discussions about Jamaica on this forum bring out some of the nastiest comments. What the ambassador said is well thought out, in that for much of the Jamaican society (by no means all), you have to be able to communicate this message through a Christian prism. There’s a lot of work to do. Folks who have Jamaican family and friends need to keep talking to them because many still don’t realize they know anyone who’s gay. Too often in Jamaican tabloids, gays are presented as just stereotypes. There are Jamaicans who have been making their voices for acceptance louder. Also, let’s stop with this notion that nothing good comes from Jamaica. Many political, social, business and cultural leaders in the US have Jamaican backgrounds.

  5. says

    I have mixed feelings about this.

    I think her message was genuine and heartfelt and while it’s not an olive branch, it’s something.

    It would have meant more had she used the words “acceptance” instead of “tolerance” –twice.

    I’m DONE being “tolerated;” aren’t you?

  6. Randy says

    Perhaps her words are appropriate for a Jamaican audience. Or, maybe that is the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    The golden rule isn’t owned by Christianity or any other religion or philosophy. We don’t need chapter and verse for it. It’s universal even into several other species, and pre-dates language. The term “golden” was associated with this rule by Confucius, half a millennium before Christ. He also identified a parallel “silver rule” about not treating others how you wouldn’t want to be treated yourself.

    As for the “gospel of love”, which one does she mean? I won’t debate it here, but it doesn’t take much to learn what the Bible really says about Jesus. Read it. But you might not be a Christian when you’re done.

    Why is an ambassador dragging religion into it anyway, without noting the profoundly negative effect her religion has had on LGBT people over the last few centuries?

    While tolerance doesn’t require abandoning belief, it DOES require speaking out against the associated book that attacks people for being gay, trans, female, Jewish, atheist, polytheist, and any number of other things.

    But (as others have stated) I’m past seeking tolerance for LGBT people. That’s so 80s. Today, it’s about acceptance.