Living in Diversity

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I have heard and listened to stories of persons who have been mistreated due to their same sex preferences.  Persons have complained about violence against them, being bullied in schools and having to bribe police officers to escape prosecution when caught with a partner in a compromising position.  A more common complaint is being subtly looked on by others as being less than equal due to their actual or perceived homosexual orientation.

Regrettably, the church has been often times less than merciful to such persons although as the church it cannot condone such behaviour.  When the Christ had walked the planet he told the now famous woman at the well that he knew she was living inappropriately but he never condemned her.  He showed her love and compassion, which caused her transformation.

In our post-modern world as we call it, the thinking of some is that “diversity” is the way to go.  Diversity includes racial diversity where public and private spheres should be open to all regardless of race.  However. I would say that diversity has also been used to speak to a kind of inclusiveness whereby morality based on Christian principles must make space for other views that allow persons the legal right to self-determination.

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Based on this thinking, society is not truly diverse unless it includes alternate views of the good life, which may or may not be opposed to the time-honoured views of others.  Therefore some will hold up a society as being truly diverse if it includes alternative sexual lifestyles such as lesbianism, or family constructs other than the heterosexually headed household.  However, what are the limits of such sexual diversity and have we thought the process through to its outer limits?

The interpretation

In my view the definition of “sexual orientation” is not settled.   The term has been judicially interpreted in South Africa to include the right to enter into marriage with one of the same sex.  A similar position exists in Canada.

Both of these countries belong to the Commonwealth of which we are a part.  Some persons may feel that sexual orientation being interpreted in such a way is fine and that the matter will stop at same sex marriage between two human beings.  However in my view that cannot be so, because if it includes same sex marriage then it may later be held as discriminatory to exclude something else such as polygamous and poly-amorous marriages.

For others who may or may not be interested in marriage why should it exclude persons who are sexually drawn to a cute pet or to adults who are drawn to children who may or not have passed puberty?  These things may sound strange now, but so did the idea of same sex marriage between two persons of the same sex several decades ago.

An article published in the well respected Life SiteNews.Com dated July 14, 2009 gives an account of a gay pride march in Madrid, Spain.  The article reported that the march, which took place last week had the following words as one of the “principal chants” that is to say, “I like dogs, I like apples, in my bed I sleep with whomever I want.”  In that march, hundreds of thousands marched in support of gay rights.

How far diversity?

In the Netherlands the NVD Party was formed to legalize sex between adults and children.  Concerning bestiality, it was reported in the WorldNet Daily, June 29, 2009 that a Mr. Frank Kameny who is well respected in the Gay Rights Movement has also advocated that the American Psychiatric Association no longer consider bestiality as being a sexual perversion, although he himself says he is not into it.  He has gone as far as say that there is no such thing as a sexual perversion.

So how far should diversity go?  Or bearing in mind what I would consider the above risks, should we have this kind of diversity in the area of sexual relations and norms.  How far should our education system incorporate this kind of sexual diversity, if at all?

The above mentioned Life SiteNews article included quotes from Spain’s Minister of Equality Bibiana Aido who endorsed the gay pride parade and re-affirmed the government’s support for gays, lesbians, transsexuals and bisexuals.  She stated, “We have many motives for being proud.” “We are an open country that has broadened rights,” “We all have to help schools to be a safe space for diversity, because what is learned by children remains forever.”

What are your thoughts?

Stokeley Marshall is an attorney-at-law who may be reached atstokeleymarshall@gmail.com or editorial@sunheraldja.com.

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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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