Letters to the Editor

Do we really give true respect to all?

Thursday, July 10, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

A line in our National Anthem states: "Teach us true respect for all". The question is, how are we showing respect to persons whose sexuality differs from ours?

Recent claims that heterosexuals' freedom of speech is under siege are painfully laughable and demonstrate our general ignorance of heterosexual dominance and power in our society. I have observed with alarm recent activities regarding how Jamaicans believe that persons whose sexuality have them loving persons of the same sex should be treated.

This alarm grew to horror with the most recent action taken by some Christians at the march and rally held recently, as the tone seems to have shifted from just speaking out about one of our archaic laws to actually challenging the rights of homosexuals to even exist.

Those exact words were not voiced, but the sentiment of the main speakers, as reported by both daily newspapers, point in that direction. That, my fellow Jamaicans, will be their next step, and it is imperative that we recognise it now and let our voices be heard.

Those exact words were not voiced, but the sentiment of the main speakers, as reported by both daily newspapers, point in that direction. That, my fellow Jamaicans, will be their next step, and it is imperative that we recognise it now and let our voices be heard.

Today, this group challenges the rights of homosexuals; tomorrow, which group will garner their focus next -- Rastafarians, non-Christians in general? Jamaica's archaic buggery law is one step towards removing the rights of all adults to express their sexuality in a manner that is comfortable to them.

The same right that allows consenting adults to decide not to engage in certain forms of sex should also be extended to those who choose to do so. I challenge Jamaicans to look at the bigger picture and have real dialogue and self-examination about human rights, and not just to react to persons pressing your buttons.

Children and paedophilia figure prominently in the current rhetoric. But neither is connected to the actual issue -- sexual acts in which consenting adults engage. We have a real problem when our laws give the police the right to break down doors and arrest persons for expressing their feelings with a freely consenting partner.

While actual arrests may not be occurring, the fact that our laws allow for this is the start of a slippery slope. We need to challenge this immediately and support the repeal of the buggery law.

Gillian Mason

gillemason@gmail.com

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