Peter Tatchell’s Response to Hyacinth Bennett’s representation of his comments

please see Sexual Offences Bill Debate – Senator Hyacinth Benneth’s Summary Remarks 26.06.09 for the remarks.

British gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay group OutRage! said:

Jamaican MPs are misrepresenting my views on the causes of homosexuality.

“The scientific evidence on the cause of sexual orientation is set out in the book Born Gay. It demonstrates that genes and hormonal influences in the womb are major factors that cause people to be gay or straight. It is simply not true that people choose to be homosexual or bisexual.

“I dispute the claim that a gay gene causes homosexuality. In my view,genetic and hormonal explanations of gayness are important and significant, but they are not adequate and sufficient. Homosexuality is definitely not a conscious choice.

“A person’s sexuality is largely influenced before their birth and is firmly established by the age of six. It cannot be changed by so-called treatments and cures. This opinion is supported by the world’s leading biological and psychological authorities. I am dismayed the way some Jamaican MPs have misrepresented my views in defence of the country’s anti-gay laws.”

“The fundamental truth is that it does not matter whether people are born gay or not. Gay people are human beings and therefore we deserve

equal human rights. A person chooses their religion and politics, but that does not mean that persecuting them because of their beliefs is justified.

“It is time the heterosexual majority stopped fretting over the causes of homosexuality and ceased victimising the gay minority. Live and let live is the best policy. Love for gay people is the true Christian response, ” he said.

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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