Monday, April 22, 2013

Adventist Purportedly Support Gays, While Frowned Upon by Politicians

HE TEAM: Panellists at the National Consultation on Constitutional Reform
from left Dr Hamid Ghany, former high court judge Amrika Tiwary-Reddy,
 Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar,
at the Diego Martin North Secondary School, on Saturday night.

President of the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation Colin Robinson says politicians should be fighting for his rights as a homosexual man but he has found them to be “hypocrites and cowards” on these issues.

Robinson was one of the attendees at the 13th National Consultation on Constitutional Reform, hosted by the Ministry of Legal Affairs, on Saturday night at Diego Martin North Secondary School. 

He commented that some of the things suffered by the homosexual community included “bad and inattentive” policing; being called derogatory names; the indignity in the court system and the inability to access justice.

He stressed that the Constitution should protect people from discrimination. 

Robinson said he was “afraid” to have Constitutional reform in the hands of a Government that had not yet passed the Gender Policy or reformed the Equal Opportunity legislation. 

“People have the right to get up in the pulpit on Sunday morning and preach on me. That is the right we have in this society. But I have the right to sleep in bed and have sex with who I want while they preaching on me. That is the nation we need to be able to create,” he added.

International televangelist Benny Hinn, who held a two-day crusade last weekend, came in for criticism from two attendees, one man saying that like all religious people they just wanted to take your money and another slamming him for “imposing Christianity on this country”.

Donald Berment, representative of the lobby group Men Against Violence Against Women, called for a gender balance in Parliament and for each gender to have at least above 45 per cent representation. 

He said the Constitution says every person should be respected in their personal life and questioned if a gay man is disrespected whether that can be challenged using the Constitution as a basis. 

A representative of the public affairs department of the Seventh Day Adventist Church said everybody has the right to choose a lifestyle including her “homosexual brother”, referring to Robinson. She added they should not be discriminated against and should have a right to justice.

She noted, however, that this country should not “swing to the next direction” like the Courts in Canada and Australia where people who refuse to marry same sex couples, refuse to build houses for same sex couples or those who wear the symbol of the cross to work are penalised. 

She stressed that religious people have rights and homosexual people have rights and when these come into conflict no one party should be disadvantaged for being a “conscientious objector”. 

She called for supremacy of God to be retained in the Constitution. 

She noted that in the last population census approximately 175,000 people reported not having any religion and therefore the majority of the population reported that they had a religion.

Another attendee described homosexuality as “unnatural” and “a thousand Acts of Parliament” could not make it right. He also said, as a “black man,” he did not appreciate the comparison of the gay rights movement with the civil rights movement. 

Other attendees supported the retention of the supremacy of God in the Constitution, one man commenting that to remove God would bring disaster upon the nation.

A few other attendees, however, supported the removal.


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