A church minister has claimed that the hatred of gay people endemic on the island of Jamaica is directly related to the rape of male slaves by white English masters.

In an article in the Jamaica Observer John Hardy, of the New Testament Church of God in Kingston, said he thinks it will be hundreds of years before gay people are accepted on the island.

Homosexuality is illegal in Jamaica, a former British colony, and the culture is deeply homophobic.

“The black slaves and most of their descendants developed this hatred for homosexual activities because of the painful experiences that their forefathers endured during slavery,” Mr Hardy wrote.

“It is alleged that if and when a white slave master suspected that black male slaves were showing any sign of resistance to their enslavement, the most cruel and brutal treatment would be meted out to them.

“One such treatment would be sodomisation.”

In February three gay men were stoned by a huge mob in a homophobic attack in Jamaica.

Police came to rescue the men from a pharmacy in Saint Andrew Parish, where they had been hiding for almost an hour.

An angry crowd had gathered outside the pharmacy, hurling insults and threatening to kill the men.

When the police arrived, the mob demanded the men be handed over to them.

The police tried to escort the men to their car, but the crowd began to throw stones at the objects of their hate, hitting one of them on the head.

Finally, officers were forced to disperse the crowd with tear gas. According to the Jamaica Observer, as many as 2000 people were involved in the attack.

Jamaica’s gay rights movement, J-Flag, is forced to operate underground and anonymously.

They told PinkNews.co.uk that far from being heroes, the police acted with equal homophobia:

“They began to beat a man who was trying to make peace in the situation and ended becoming a target as a result.” say J-Flag.