It is amazing how a group of “religious leaders” can scramble together in such a frenzy to deny a smaller group of persons their basic human rights—all with the general understanding that their respective gods are loving and caring and created humankind in his image, subsequently giving them free will.
One cannot help but question the purpose of free will if one is not free to choose his/her lifestyle.
For the record, I am not “a gay rights advocate.” I am an advocate for human rights, and will continue to do so in any jurisdiction where people are denied their basic human rights.
The issue confronting the respective LGBTQIA communities globally is no longer an issue of “gay rights.” It’s an issue of human rights.
Unfortunately, as long it remains couched as a “gay rights issue,” persons of religious persuasion—with Trinidad and Tobago having more than its fair share, guided by outdated books, written centuries ago by disillusioned persons, convinced that god spoke to them directly or indirectly via angels—will continue on ‘a rapid decline to hell in a hand basket’.’
Ironically, on the same day these “religious leaders” got together to demand that laws be changed to accommodate their god-given views, this nation watched helplessly as a woman was beaten mercilessly.
Not one caring soul in the vicinity intervened. Not one person of the 90% of the population who are against “gay rights” saw it fit to try and prevent a female victimised by a male. And this is not the first time, nor will it be the last that our women folks find themselves at the mercy of our male counterparts.
But leave it to the religious leaders who degree that gender must decide who marries whom. My guess is that their proposed marriage act must ensure that one person is physically stronger than the other. Heaven forbid they are of equal strength! Such an idea would probably infuriate the respective gods—seeing that Hinduism, Muslim, the Roman Catholic Church and everything in-between got together on the same issue.
Never have I heard where “Rebuild T&T,” or any of the other NGOs called for an end to domestic violence with the same intensity demonstrated in their call to deny basic rights to members of the alternative community.
For the year, over 250 citizens have been murdered, mostly young men. Never have I seen this organisation march or demand media attention in a call for action against what might turn out to be a record high murder rate.
While citizens are taxed from the dog house to the hen house—with no value added—these religious leaders and their organisations exist in “tax free” heavens. Perhaps if “Rebuild T&T” addressed the tax issue, crime, water, bad roads, traffic, rising unemployment, school violence, and the myriad of other issues facing this land, we might actually live up to their name.
Their choice of crusade reveals the bias and hidden agendas of these religious leaders. It is ironic also that one of the major organisations involved in this call has a history of child molestation, especially as it relates to boys. Similarly, I cannot help but wonder if the self-anointed spokesperson for Hinduism is aware that homosexuality in his religion is seen as a “biological” condition?
If we are really serious about rebuilding T&T, then we need all hands on deck. And religious leaders—like politicians—certainly aren’t the best qualified persons to move this nation forward.
WELL, TO HELL WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ALSO Rudy Chato Sr. ! Based on the trend of your argument, what’s to stop a ‘human’ from believing that they are a quadruped, like a canine or from the feline species.or a ruminant. We can then champion ‘Animal Rights’ for those who were falsely called humans but have truly discovered their real identity on the Animal Farm.
The Equal Opportunities Act is basically the Golden Rule enshrined in law: Treat all your fellow T&T citizens as you would like to be treated, regardless of their superficial differences, differences which have nothing to do with their equal worth as human beings and should never restrict their access to food, shelter, employment etc.
Why would any individual or group claiming to be about ethics, empathy and enlightened morals be actively campaigning to EXCLUDE certain citizens from this protection when those citizens are in no way a threat to their free exercise of their religious freedom? Are LGBT people in T&T trying to dictate what religious leaders preach in their houses of worship or dictate who they should marry? Nope.
The State of T&T already recognizes unions that are not recognized nor allowed nor blessed by ceremonial matrimony within religious institutions. These include:
The marriages of atheists and non-religious people can get married
The remarriages of divorcees
Common Law marriages.
Religion does not OWN the civil marriage rights of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and has no right to restrict anyone of legal age from it.
LGBT people have ZERO to do with heterosexual people’s marriages, except maybe offering their support and joining in celebrating the marriages of straight family, friends and neighbors and designing their dress, doing their makeup, decor etc. Never once have I ever seen or heard an LGBT person trying to stop heterosexuals from marrying or having kids or following traditional gender roles.
Oppressing LGBT people is not going to make more heterosexuals get married. It is not going to protect heterosexual marriage from infidelity, communication issues, parental frustrations, financial stresses, in-law drama, domestic abuse, growing apart, divorce etc. and all the REAL threats to traditional marriage.
Oppressing LGBT people is not going to heal the growing rift and distrust between heterosexual men and heterosexual women.
Oppressing LGBT people is not going to reverse the economic tide that makes getting married and having kids a no-no for many heterosexual couples who simply cannot afford it or do not like the society and instability right now and do not want to bring kids into that.
Powerful religious people scapegoating a maligned and mistreated (because of religion and by religious people) minority speaks to the level of the untrustworthiness of our powerful religious elite in T&T, who do not pay taxes but enjoy the taxes of the citizenry to further their religious objectives and profile. They have no problem getting LGBT and LGBT alley’s tax money to fund their festivals, operations and schools etc. but cannot render unto Cesar, respect for the equal rights of Cesar’s citizens under Cesar’s law.
If space had permitted, I would have been able to articulate some of the same sentiments. Very well said!