Last Sunday, 25,000 Jamaicans rallied in support of their country’s explicitly homophobic anti-sodomy law, comparing homosexuality to rape and murder and arguing that anti-gay laws are “righteous and Godly.
”Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law, as many Western news sources are eager to remind us, is a “colonial leftover,” a “holdover” from Britain’s bygone rule over the island. As controversy over the law swells, expect these whispers to turn into roars blaming Jamaican homophobia on the country’s departed colonial overlords.
Don’t believe it. This idea that the British government must “answer for” modern homophobia carries an unfortunate currency among the Western left, which often tacitly excuses gay hate in former colonies as an inevitable vestige of colonialism’s anti-gay bent. You hear it in story after story about a developing country’s rampant, frequently violent homophobia: Anti-gay laws and attitudes are the “legacy” or the “inheritance” of Western colonialism, and the homophobes of today cannot…
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