Senatorial idiocy (Gleaner Letter to The Editor) 29.06.09

(I agree that the presentations lacked understanding) see post below

The Editor, Sir:

I often wonder if good sense is a prerequisite for serving in either House of the Jamaican parliament. The most recent example of why I would ask this question are the statements attributed to senators Sandrea Falconer and Hyacinth Bennett. These statements are in relation to the proposed sexual offences law.

Among the proposals of Senator Falconer is to have the men who engage in homosexual relationship outside of their heterosexual relationships, be specifically punished. These statements are not what would be expected from someone who is supposedly educated. I wonder how the Senator would propose we enforce this? Are the police to be expected to conduct investigations into who men who cheat are sleeping with? What about men who cheat with other women; no special punishment for them? How about women who cheat on their men with other women is that acceptable in the eyes of the senator?

Lack of understanding

The other statement by Senator Bennett, shows a complete lack of understanding of gender and sexuality. Senator Bennett would like the law only to recognise sexual intercourse as covering penis and vagina that are defined at birth. So a woman who has had gender re-assignment surgery could rape a man who has had gender reassignment surgery and it would not be classified as such under Senator Bennett’s law.

Similarly, transgender women could be raped at will and would have no recourse under these laws. I would venture further and ask Senator Bennett about intersex individuals. What if neither organ is explicitly present at birth and later one is constructed, does that individual not deserve coverage under these rape laws?

The hatred of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Jamaica is so strong, even among the leadership that it leads to propo-sals that can only be described as occupying the ‘lunatic fringe’. It is particularly telling that these two individuals are black women who 100 years ago would have had as much right as a cow, yet they seem to be oblivious to the fact that the strides that they have been able to make were because others fought for their rights to fair and equal treatment under the law, and now persist to advocate for discrimination and what would amount to inhumane treatment of many of their fellow citizens.

I am, etc.,

RICARDO SMALLING
rsmalling@sympatico.ca

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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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