A letter published in your Saturday Gleaner, on October 18, edition signed by S. Richards, took issue with the suggestion by a United Kingdom government minister that discrimination against gays should be halted as part of the efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The writer, I believe, is correct to suggest that a false “health link” argument is being used as the plank to end “discrimi-nation”. The writer went off the rails, however, with two other subsequent points.
Higher health risks
First, the health authorities do suggest and have emphasised that anal sexual activity carries higher health risks and so should be avoided or mitigated by the use of condoms.
I don’t know if reader S. Richards is so naive as to believe, however, that this kind of activity is exclusively male/male. The influence of pornography has presented this as an acceptable activity for men and women to engage in and anecdotal stories suggest that it does take place among heterosexual couples and may even be increasing as a practice.
Usefulness of the buggery law
Therefore, the second point made in the writer’s letter about the usefulness of the buggery law is irrelevant. Does the buggery law apply to a man engaging in anal sex with his female partner? If so, when has this ever been enforced? And if not, then there is discrimination against men and is, therefore, gender-biased. Also, the existence of the law, by itself, has not stopped people from engaging in their ‘kinky’ activities, whatever the law says.
People often know or suspect their behaviour and, apart from snide comments or the some-times derogatory remarks, for the most part, let them be. And that is how it should be. People should not be excluded from jobs or denied access to health care (if that is happening) because of what they do in the privacy of their homes as consenting adults. Where they are violating moral laws, God will deal with them in His own way, as He does with others who violate His many other strictures.
I am, etc.,
SEE THE ORIGINAL LETTER HERE by Shirley Richards of The Anti Gay Group Lawyers’ Christian Fellowhsip or
Another view of reaction to gays
published: Saturday | October 18, 2008
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write regarding the news item in Tuesdays Gleaner, under the heading, ‘Stop discriminating against gays’.
As you reported the story, this was a call made by a United Kingdom minister of trade and development and was made as a part of discussions regarding the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Caribbean.
If the eating of oranges was thought to be the most dangerous activity where malaria or any other infectious disease was concerned, would there be any outcry about the banning of oranges?
Three local health consultants have confirmed, in response to questions posed by the writer hereof, that anal sexual activity is the most dangerous type of sexual activity where sexually transmitted infections are concerned.
In view of the problems with HIV/AIDS, why have our local health officials not warned the population about the dangers of engaging in anal sexual activity?
Where allegations of discrimination are concerned, the fact is that the law judges behaviour, which is either detrimental to individuals or to the society as a whole. Thus, standards are set, based not on the thoughts or desires of the individual but on the behaviour of the particular individual.
Maybe then, standards and criteria, generally, could be said to be discriminatory in nature. Amazingly, one would have thought that the HIV/AIDS epidemic would have made us glad that we have the buggery law in place! Instead, we are being hoodwinked into thinking to the contrary! Don’t be fooled, Jamaica, it’s the same argument under a different disguise!
I am, etc.,
Also SEE ‘Stop discriminating against gays’
‘Stop discriminating against gays’
published: Tuesday | October 14, 2008
Gareth Thomas, minister of state for trade and development, United Kingdom. – Junior Dowie/Staff Photographer
A BRITISH government minister wants Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to stop discriminating against homosexuals.
Gareth Thomas, United Kingdom’s minister of state for trade and development, made the call yesterday while discussing the impact of HIV/AIDS on Caribbean economies.
“That discrimination is undermining the fight against HIV,” he charged at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, noting that about 250,000 people across the region have been infected with the virus.
Thomas was speaking at the launch of the Department for International Development Caribbean Regional Development Strategy.
He called for regional govern-ments to challenge discrimination against gays.
Thomas said the Caribbean with the second-highest number of HIV/AIDS infections has been dealt an economic burden because of the prevalence of the virus.
In May, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, responding to questions on BBC’s talk show ‘HARDtalk’, said he would not be pressured by outsiders to recognise homosexual rights.
Pressed by the host of the show, Stephen Sackur, to declare whether gays would be included in his Cabinet, Golding said: “Sure they can be in the Cabinet – but not mine!”
Despite a strong resentment to homosexual lifestyle in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Grenadian sociologist Claude Douglas, in a recent interview with the Caribbean Media Corporation, argued that the region’s attitude to homosexuality was changing