Jamaica | News | Portia Simpson-Miller

Jamaica's New PM Portia Simpson-Miller Speaks Out for LGBT Rights, Says Gays Welcome in Her Cabinet: VIDEO


Jamaica's new Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller is being sworn in today, and has made her support for LGBT rights very clear. Here's what she said in a debate in December:

"Our administration believes in protecting the human rights of all Jamaicans. No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Government should provide the protection...."

Simpson-Miller says she would allow gay people to serve in her cabinet: "I certainly do not pry or do I have any intention of prying in the private business of anyone. I would appoint anyone with the ability, the capacity, and the capability to manage, in my cabinet."

Watch progress in action, AFTER THE JUMP...

(clip via think progress lgbt)

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  1. A true leader...with guts. The world needs more leaders like her!

    Posted by: Robert | Jan 5, 2012 8:51:30 AM

  2. Jamaica is a place with a horrible record for treatment of the LGBT community. I've had straight friends that say "oh you should visit Jamaica"...and I'm like "hell no...I'd never spend my vacation dollars there."

    Maybe the new PM realizes that being open to the LGBT community is not only the right thing to do morally, but the right thing to do monetarily.

    Posted by: Karl | Jan 5, 2012 9:41:59 AM

  3. great news! i like this lady

    Posted by: DanSwon | Jan 5, 2012 9:43:33 AM

  4. Obviously Jamaican tourism has dried up.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 5, 2012 10:33:30 AM

  5. Actually it hasn't,David-that's just wishful thinking. Thousands still visit Jamaica because let's face it, it's a gorgeous island and they could care less how LGBT folks are treated locally. I applaud this fine lady for taking a stand and I suggest we do all we can-as little as that might be-to make sure she follows through.

    Posted by: Shabaka | Jan 5, 2012 12:04:11 PM

  6. I don't like Jamaicans

    Posted by: Adam | Jan 5, 2012 12:33:52 PM

  7. I really like Portia Simpson-Miller. She's a brave politician ... she could easily have given a non-answer like her opponent did, but instead she decided to take an unpopular position because it was the decent thing to do. She's great!

    As an aside, I really like the Jamaican accent. I never realized that before watching this video. She's an awesome accent!

    Posted by: DayvG | Jan 5, 2012 12:55:13 PM

  8. @Adam: Screw off! How many Jamaicans do you know anyway? Ms. Simpson-Miller is taking an intelligent, and for local standards, a brave position. She's actually stating the obvious because gays have served previously in the government before, albeit not open. There are many Jamaicans who take a "who cares" attitude. Unfortunately, this group is often drowned out by the obnoxious anti-gay set (sounds like some areas of the good ole USA). This new PNP government has to be encouraged to make progressive moves, firstly, getting rid of of the colonial era buggery laws.

    Posted by: Albert | Jan 5, 2012 2:18:23 PM

  9. i'm thunderously applauding this woman. what a vanguard! thank you!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 5, 2012 4:51:08 PM

  10. First of all Adam.... Jamaicans don't like you either LOL!

    I am not Jamaican, but I like to follow politics in countries all around the world.

    While I admire what this woman wants to do; it will not happen. The religious community has a very strong influence in Jamaica, and they would throw a fit if she passed gay rights. It would cost her party the next election. I suspect she will "look" at it and make no changes.

    Posted by: Adam Is Stupid | Jan 5, 2012 7:14:33 PM

  11. Probably better to ignore to the trolling blanket statement by Adam, but really--how dumb can you be?

    This is seriously a huge deal. Jamaica may well be the most homophobic country in the Western Hemisphere, and its PM is now more progressive on LGBT issues than any of the major Republican presidential candidates in the US. What a world...

    Posted by: John | Jan 6, 2012 2:39:41 AM

  12. How wonderful. I was born and raised in Canada but my entire family is from there. I have never been proud of that fact. I always feared for my life on the extremely rare occasions that I would give in to pressure and visit. It is a beautiful island. It has always been such a shame that people have been CRAZY homicidal towards LGBT's. It will take time and continue to be a struggle for LGBT's there but this is a HUGE step in the right direction. A female Prime Minister is already amazing within itself. I wouldn't run out to book flights any time soon. Great news in a world full crap.

    Posted by: Desmond | Jan 7, 2012 4:13:42 PM

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