After a period of extensive reflection, I am confident in my decision to withdraw as claimant for the following reasons (in no particular order):
My family is attending to the urgent medical needs of my sister. My participation in the case and the attendant social consequences places an extra burden on us that I cannot justify at this time.
Jamaica is a very small society with many poorly socialized people. Unstable individuals regularly harm unsuspecting others for choosing to live in a way that displeases them. While I have never been harmed physically, I have been threatened enough times to know that I am vulnerable. Though the cause and the case are noble, I am no longer willing to gamble with my life or the lives of my parents and siblings.
The plantocracy in the colony of Jamaica ratified the law in question in 1864—a year before the Morant Bay Rebellion. Great Britain granted the island political independence in 1962 and one-time subjects of a violent empire became citizens of a new nation. Fifty-two years after independence, we are debating the constitutional validity of an 1864 law that is silly. I simply cannot continue to submerge my consciousness in an 1860’s reality to make sense of a legal system that acknowledges no discontinuity between colonial Jamaica and Jamaica in 2014.
I am very concerned that this case could well go into 2015 and beyond given consistent delays. If this matter should be taken to the next level, which my lawyers suggested is likely, then we can expect another few years of sensationalized deliberations. I’m living on tenterhooks as prominent voices in the society use this moment as an opportunity to incite mistrust and instigate waves of hysteria. To what end? At what cost?
I am not fighting any battles. This is not a war. I do not fight, I promote peace. But participants in island-wide protests and subsequent media reports and commentaries insist that “we” are at war, so I am laying down my weapons. I do not want to be characterized as a villain anymore.
After reading the submissions made by the many interested parties in the case (please read their submissions), it is clear to me that the ‘homosexual’ or ‘gay’ subject is a fantasy borne of ignorance and misguided convictions. I will dedicate no more of my time, energy and intelligence to grappling with anyone’s illusions. We only get to witness a slice of cosmic time. I want to enjoy the phenomenal chance I get to ride this rotating planet in space.
For these and other reasons, I think it is best for me to withdraw the claim. A genuine challenge deserves a claimant who is actually convinced that there is justice to be pursued by way of The Law.