First Look

JCHS comments on Flag flown at US Embassy

| 2016-06-15 00:00:00

The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society joins with others in condemning the murder of 49 persons and the injuring of 53 others at a mass shooting in Orlando, USA on Sunday, June 12, 2016.   We also extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and pray for them, true comfort, hope and strength in the coming days and weeks.

We are also deeply saddened that the aftermath of these tragic deaths has now taken on a political tone. The hoisting of the LGBT flag symbol by the US Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica is a clear political message of the US Government’s commitment to advance LGBT ‘rights’ as being ‘the heart and conscience of US diplomacy’ according to Secretary of State John Kerry (May 2015).

Did the US Embassy in Kingston raise school or military or church flags at the horrific massacre of American kindergarten-age children at Sandy-brook in December 2012, the April 2014 shooting at Fort Hood in Texas or the June 2015 slaying of church members from Charleston, South Carolina, among other unfortunate shootings? If not, why raise a non-national flag on this occasion?

The JCHS stands with the Attorney-General of Jamaica, Mrs. Marlene Malahoo-Forte, in publicly describing the hoisting of a flag associated with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender political movement by the US Embassy in Kingston, as ‘disrespectful’ to Jamaica.

While the US Embassy Kingston is considered to be on US soil, the Embassy is still a guest of the Jamaican Government and people and is expected to conduct its affairs in a respectful manner. Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), states that it is a duty for diplomatic agents of all signatory countries, including the USA and Jamaica, to “respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.”

Sunday’s mass shooting was at the first and last the unfortunate death of 49 human beings of inherent value and worth. That must be the main focus of our attention.

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