Christian Concern Founder Urges Jamaica Keep Homosexuality Criminalized

Reportedly told crowd: “They hate the line of homosexuality being linked to pedophilia… So I say to you in Jamaica: Speak about it. Speak about it.”

From J. Lester Feder at Buzzfeed:

 Activists from the United States and United Kingdom opposed to LGBT rights have urged Jamaican Christian conservatives to resist repealing the country’s buggery law, similar to sodomy laws, by arguing that homosexuality is a choice and connected to pedophilia.

[Peter] LaBarbera [of Americans For Truth About Homosexualityand Andrea Minichiello Williams, founder of the United Kingdom’s Christian Concern, spoke Saturday at a conference organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Christian Lawyers’ Association [sic – should be “Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship“] in Kingston.

…During her remarks, Andrea Minichiello Williams of the United Kingdom’s Christian Concern said Jamaica had the opportunity to become a world leader by fending off foreign pressure to decriminalize same-sex intercourse.

“Might it be that Jamaica says to the United States of America, says to Europe, ‘Enough! You cannot come in and attack our families. We will not accept aid or promotion tied to an agenda that is against God and destroys our families,'” she said, adding to applause, “If you win here, you will have an impact in the Caribbean and an impact across the globe.”

…”They hate the line of homosexuality being linked to pedophilia. They try to cut that off, so you can’t speak about it,” she said. “So I say to you in Jamaica: Speak about it. Speak about it.”

Christian Concern is probably the nearest thing in the UK to an American-style “Christian Right”  lobby group; it has links with the Alliance Defense Fund, and last year it co-hosted a conference in London with the World Congress of Families at which US conservative Don Feder explained that same-sex marriage is a Marxist conspiracy.

A few months before that event, Christian Concern’s barrister of choice Paul Diamond appeared at a “MassResistance Banquet” in Massachusetts, where he warned of the “homosexual agenda” and of the persecution of Christians in the UK. Also speaking at the banquet was Peter LaBarbera’s close associate Scott Lively, who famously co-authored a book blaming gay people for the Holocaust, and who has been been linked to authoritarian anti-gay measures in Russia and Uganda. Christian Concern also has links with an anti-gay church based in eastern Europe.

Even so, I must say I’m surprised at the reckless virulence of the quotes attributed by Buzzfeed to Minichiello Williams, particularly given that gay people in Jamaica in recent months have faced increasing violence. Christian Concern is not a fringe group: the organization’s I’m Not Ashamed campaign to promote Christian rights in the UK has been endorsed and promoted by former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey. Other high-profile figures associated with Christian Concern include Patrick Sookhdeo (discussed here) and Nadine Dorries MP – Christian Concern previously created a website for her, and provided her with talking points on the subject of abortion.

For some reason, the Christian Concern website does not appear to carry an account of Minichiello Williams’ visit or speech, although she and LaBarbera are profiled on the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society website. Other speakers listed are a lawyer named Rebekah Ali-Gouveia and Reverend Earl Thames. The JCHS is run by Dr Wayne West, who is aligned with other Christian leaders in the country.

(H/T Ed Brayton)