Latin America & Caribbean

Orlando shooting: Rainbow flag in Jamaica sparks row

A rainbow flag is flown in Nicaragua Image copyright AFP
Image caption Rainbow flags have been flown around the world following Sunday's attack on a gay club in Florida

Jamaica's attorney general has sparked criticism after saying it was "disrespectful" to Jamaican law for the US embassy to fly a rainbow flag following the Orlando shooting.

In response, the US embassy in the capital Kingston asked Marlene Malahoo Forte to explain her legal reasoning.

Forty-nine people died when a gunman opened fire in a gay club in Florida.

Jamaica has laws criminalising gay sex and rights groups have warned LGBT face frequent discrimination.

The embassy in Kingston joined other US missions around the world in flying the rainbow flag in solidarity with the victims of the attack, the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

The flag symbolises the diversity of the LGBT movement.

Orlando shooting: Special report

'This is her country'

In a post that now appears to have been deleted, Ms Malahoo Forte said: "I strongly condemn #OrlandoNightClubShooting but find it disrespectful of Jamaica's laws to have #RainbowFlag flown here. #MyPersonalView."

The US embassy replied: "We're listening. Explain the legal reasoning? It was an attack of terror !!and!! hate, targeting the LGBT community".

She faced a backlash on social media where she was accused of ignorance and bigotry.

Others though defended her right to speak out. "This is her country, not America," said one comment on Facebook.

A letter to the Jamaica Observer warned the attorney general was painting the country in a bad light while saying no one was asking Ms Malahoo Forte "to condone homosexuality".

Separately, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness offered his condolences.

"The bullet of terrorism does not discriminate, it does not know gender, class or sexual orientation. We all grieve the 49 lives lost," he tweeted.

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