Letters to the Editor

Homophobes fighting a losing battle

Wednesday, February 12, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

Well known CNN anchor Don Lemon declared in a recent commentary that homophobes are fighting a losing battle. I couldn't agree more.

Now that more celebrities and famous individuals are "coming out", those who continue to live in a bubble, thinking that gays only exist in small numbers, or only as stereotypical effeminate, boisterous men, must be getting nervous.

Just this week another athlete came out, American football player Michael Sam, adding to the list of many other well known athletes, entertainers and celebrities who have also done so.

People should not even need to come out about whom they love, and why. But it will certainly help to educate and enlighten, as people are often too quick to judge what they really don't know or understand.

The truth is, being gay is a way of life. No religion or government has ever been successful in eliminating or eradicating homosexuality. Some like to use the Bible to justify hate, conveniently dissecting certain scriptures while ignoring others. We never hear these religious pundits speaking out about fornication, adultery, and all sexual 'sins' in the Bible. Whether individuals are sexually active or not, people don't choose their sexuality.

Even in the media being gay is becoming more mainstream. It is just not a big deal anymore. Also, one's sexuality does not define a person, nor does it define their worth or ability. It should also not restrict their ability to form a union or family. Hate and discrimination are not only negative, but counter-productive.

The Government of Jamaica should be urged to set the tone and move forward with reviewing and repealing the antiquated buggery law, which continues to feed into hate and prejudice. Governments have no business defining sexual activities between consenting adults in the privacy of their own space. The gay issue was a hot topic during the last election, and despite a massive propaganda campaign by the JLP, the PNP who was more forward-thinking and supportive, still won by a landslide. Portia Simpson Miller was lauded for boldly speaking out in support of human rights, and this should be part of her legacy. Hopefully she will act decisively on her words and promises.

As for the few Jamaican entertainers who continue to use their platforms to publicly bash gays, they will eventually get over it. One can't be so anti-gay, yet so eager to travel to gay-friendly countries to perform and earn money. Many times gay persons are likely to be part of the production teams at these events.

The world is changing, people are changing, and diversity is indeed a reality.

Pete Delisser






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