Zealots need to exercise restraint

Friday, October 11, 2019

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Dear Editor,

In the past week your newspaper has published letters from a medical doctor and a pastor who, respectively, compared LGBT citizens to culture-crushing “conquistadors” hell-bent on ramming our (equality) agenda down people's throats, and a deadly “cancer” that society needs to cut out or face the threat of our “bucks” being raped!

The results of this type of false and fanciful fearmongering have gruesome echoes across time. The Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers, but with Hitler calling Jews pigs. Similarly, the Rwandan genocide was ignited by a journalist calling a rival tribe “cockroaches”.

Here at home we have seen the deadly impact of homophobic hate speech. Oshane Gordon and Dwayne Jones are two LGBT Jamaicans who were butchered by bloodthirsty mobs.

In our violent society it is therefore unethical for a doctor bound by the Hippocratic Oath (“Do no harm”), and a pastor whose faith teaches the golden rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) to publicly make such extreme statements. Their actions are tantamount to someone maliciously shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre when there was no fire. People will be killed through their words.

I fully support the right of religious extremists to cherry-pick which “abomination” to condemn (FYI, the Bible also condemns eating pork, but it remains a Jamaican delicacy). However, I would plead with these zealots to exercise restraint with their words or the blood of the next murdered LGBT Jamaican will be on their hands.

Maurice Tomlinson

Founder and Coordinator of Development

Montego Bay Pride


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