Gays Born, Not Made, response to anti gay Rev Espeut

Following an article in the Gleaner recently a response has come via that medium in a short letter (too short in my view) but to the point to the Reverend and Sociologist Peter Espeut. He has been on a roll with weird remarks about homosexuality some of which amounting to arrant nonsense. Also below was a response by a bioethics professor in Canada on Espeut’s claim that Gays are made and not born so.

Firstly here is the letter from today (Edited newspaper version) (below is the unedited version as contributed by Mr Welsh)

 

Gays Born, Not Made, Mr Espeut

The Editor Sir,
I am now convinced that columnist Peter Espeut has fell off the wagon and bumped his head. This fixation on the affairs of gay men has revealed his not-so-latent prejudices and seeming inability to form a rational series of thoughts and commit them to paper once the subject matter involves homosexuality.
His last attempt at satire titled “Very Public Privacy” published on May 31, 2013 failed miserably as the reader could hear the cogs in his brain creaking and groaning under the pressure of trying to comprehend
the idea that ALL Jamaicans are entitled to fundamental rights, not just the ones he has a doctrinal affinity for.

This is a concept that he has been at pains to come to grips with as evidenced by the litany of articles in which he attempts to remind the uppity homosexuals that they have no right to what is wrong. What Espeut fails to realize is that rights are not dependent on morals. They are innate to human beings by virtue of them being human and no one, and especially not a clergyman, is in any position to prescribe who is human enough to enjoy the right to be treated as such. Human Rights are objective entitlements,
not subjective privileges and they are limited only by the need to balance and harmonize with the rights of others in the human community.
His next painful attempt to rationalize his prejudices came under the unfortunate headline “Gays Made, Not Born” and was published on June 14, 2013. The only question I must ask of Espeut in response to this nonsensical title is: “By whom?” Implicit in this foolish collection of letters is the idea that Gays are manufactured by some sinister production process and thus have no entitlement to their identities. By his logic, it would then follow that
since they are not born, as regular humans are, they have no claim to any human rights since they are a malady, an abomination, and an aberration of nature that ought to be eliminated, or at the very least ignored. This is an argument that must be firmly and resoundingly rejected by all well-thinking people.
This might shock Espeut but gay people are in fact MADE by God and BORN into families such as his and everyone else’s. The difficulty for Espeut and others of his ilk is that their concept of God is a reflection of a value system which they were not born with, but which was made through a process of indoctrination. Evidently it is the Christian Fundamentalists who are made, not born, and therefore ought to have their rights restricted. I’m sure that would not comfort them.

BRIAN-PAUL WELSH

brianpaul.welsh@gmail.com

ENDS

meanwhile

‘Gays Made, Not Born’ – On the Confused State of the Religious Mind

Call it an easy target, blame me for going after the intellectually weak, but what is it about the Catholic pre-occupation with other people’s sex lives and identities. And why are they consistently so confused both about the meaning of facts when it comes to sexual orientation as well as about the normative issues?Jamaican Catholic Deacon Peter Espeut is as good an example as any to show what I am concerned about. Jamaica being a militantly anti-gay country where anti-gay discrimination was recently even enshrined in the country’s constitution, courtesy to a large extent of campaigners like Catholic-Deacon-sociologist-turned-sex-expert Peter Espeut. Espeut writes in today’s edition of the Jamaica Gleaner that gays are made, and that we are not born that way. Do read his contribution to public debate on that island to make sense of what follows below.He takes the current absence of conclusive evidence of a genetic causation of homosexuality as evidence of a non-genetic causation of homosexuality. To give you just one example to illustrate how absurd this view of the nature of scientific inquiry is: According to Espeut’s logic, HIV could not have been the cause of AIDS when it hadn’t been discovered. Now, I am not suggesting that there is a genetic cause of sexual orientation, but to claim, as Espeut does, that it cannot have one because there isn’t conclusive evidence at a certain point in time (ie today), is remarkably stupid. Perhaps that level of critical thinking skills is what predestines one to become a columnist for one of Jamaica’s daily papers. Let’s just note that this view on the causation issue constitutes a basic logic error and move on.

He then makes another logic error, and compounds it with plenty of excited exclamation marks. The exclamation marks have to do with not-blameworthy human characteristics such as the colour of our skin. As Espeut notes, ‘we are born that way.’ Implied is that we didn’t choose to be that way, and that we are what we are in an immutable sense. Well, the thing is, there’s plenty of things we have not chosen, yet they are immutable. Think about our language. Did we consciously choose it? Can we consciously dump it? Not quite. So, immutability is quite unrelated to the ‘born that way’ proposition. I do apologise for not using exclamation marks here, but do feel free to add them for emphasis in your mind.

Not surprisingly, Espeut being a sociologist, he then moves on to the next mistake, namely seeing the cause of sexual orientation in some parental behaviour. After all, having unjustifiably excluded genetic factors (and presumably, even though he doesn’t say it, any number of possible non-social environmental factors), Espeut moves right on to his favourite possible causes of sexual orientation. Being a good sociologist he offers a lot of possible – but entirely speculative! – stuff, just in case.

He writes, ‘But what causes gender-conforming and gender-non-conforming behaviour? Hormone imbalances may be one explanation. Others suggest that domineering mothers and ineffectual fathers may interfere with socialisation; and still others suggest that homosexuality may be triggered by having sexual encounters with members of one’s own sex at an early age that prove to be very satisfying.’

As I noted before, Catholic Church staff and lay people have a perverse fascination with other people’s sex lives. For the fun of it, let me note that ‘hormone imbalances’ invariably would invariably have causative genetic components. But hey, sociologists… – It is also worth noting that the language that is deployed here isn’t exactly descriptive sociology, rather it is Catholic theology dressed up in pseudo-academic language. ‘Domineering mothers’, ‘ineffectual fathers’, plus (we are in Jamaica after all, so this still flies in public discourse) the invariable bullshit about pedophile homosexual grooming. Who, among serious sociologists or psychologists suggests the latter? Nobody that I’m am aware of. What is remarkable about Espeut’s pet causes of homosexuality is that there is no more evidence for any of them then there is for his much-hated genetic causes. But that’s what he believes in, so with all the weight that a degree in sociology and deaconessing in the Catholic Church provides, much credence is given to these baseless claims about the causes of homosexuality.

Espeut concludes thus, ‘Let us not fall into line with ‘gay-rights’ propaganda by speaking as if LGBT behaviour is normal and natural. Unless you want to say that improper socialisation and dysfunctionality are normal and acceptable.’ I have alerted you already to the Deacon’s favourite rhetorical tool of using pejorative language (‘improper’, ‘dysfunctional’ etc) where argument would be required. Let me address the issue of homosexuality being abnormal and unnatural issue by copying here content from a Hastings Center Report article I published back in 1997. It’s still true and shows us how little progress has been made on this subject matter. The fundamentalist religious in the world will turn around and continue their little flat-earth tirades as if nothing had happened at all. And mass media still give them outlets to vent their rage instead of asking them to seek professional help.

‘Why is there a dispute as to whether homosexuality is natural or normal? We suggest it is because many people seem to think that nature has a prescriptive normative force such that what is deemed natural or normal is necessarily good and therefore ought to be. Everything that falls outside these terms is constructed as unnatural and abnormal, and it has been argued that this constitutes sufficient reason to consider homosexuality worth avoiding.[16] Arguments that appeal to ‘normality’ to provide us with moral guidelines also risk committing the naturalistic fallacy. The naturalistic fallacy is committed when one mistakenly deduces from the way things are to the way they ought to be. For instance, Dean Hamer and colleagues commit this error in their Science article when they state that “it would be fundamentally unethical to use such information to try to assess or alter a person’s current or future sexual orientation, either heterosexual or homosexual, or other normal attributes of human behavior.”[17] Hamer and colleagues believe that there is a major genetic factor contributing to sexual orientation. From this they think it follows that homosexuality is normal, and thus worthy of preservation. Thus they believe that genetics can tell us what is normal, and that the content of what is normal tells us what ought to be. This is a typical example of a naturalistic fallacy. Normality can be defined in a number of ways, but none of them direct us in the making of moral judgments. First, normality can be reasonably defined in a descriptive sense as a statistical average. Appeals to what is usual, regular, and/or conforming to existing standards ultimately collapse into statistical statements. For an ethical evaluation of homosexuality, it is irrelevant whether homosexuality is normal or abnormal in this sense. All sorts of human traits and behaviors are abnormal in a statistical sense, but this is not a sufficient justification for a negative ethical judgment about them. Second, ‘normality’ might be defined in a functional sense, where what is normal is something that has served an adaptive function from an evolutionary perspective. This definition of normality can be found in sociobiology, which seeks biological explanations for social behavior. There are a number of serious problems with the sociobiological project.[18] For the purposes of this argument, however, suffice it to say that even if sociobiology could establish that certain behavioral traits were the direct result of biological evolution, no moral assessment of these traits would follow. To illustrate our point, suppose any trait that can be reasonably believed to have served an adaptive function at some evolutionary stage is normal. Some questions arise that exemplify the problems with deriving normative conclusions from descriptive science. Are traits that are perpetuated simply through linkage to selectively advantageous loci less ‘normal’ than those for which selection was direct? Given that social contexts now exert ‘selective pressure’ in a way that nature once did, how are we to decide which traits are to be intentionally fostered? Positions holding the view that homosexuality is unnatural, and therefore wrong also inevitably develop incoherencies. They often fail to explicate the basis upon which the line between natural and unnatural is drawn. More importantly, they fail to explain why we should consider all human-made or artificial things as immoral or wrong. These views are usually firmly based in a non-empirical, prescriptive interpretation of nature rather than a scientific descriptive approach. They define arbitrarily what is natural and have to import other normative assumptions and premises to build a basis for their conclusions. For instance, they often claim that an entity called “God” has declared homosexuality to be unnatural and sinful.[19] Unfortunately, these analyses have real-world consequences. In Singapore, unnatural acts are considered a criminal offence, and “natural intercourse” is arbitrarily defined as “the coitus of the male and female organs.” A recent High Court decision there declared oral sex “unnatural,” and therefore a criminal offence, unless it leads to subsequent reproductive intercourse.

In the United States, several scholars and lesbian and gay activists have argued that establishing a genetic basis for sexual orientation will help make the case for lesbian and gay rights. The idea is that scientific research will show that people do not choose their sexual orientations and therefore they should not be punished or discriminated against in virtue of them. This general argument is flawed in several ways.[23] First, we do not need to show that a trait is genetically determined to argue that it is not amenable to change at will. This is clearly shown by the failure rates of conversion therapies.[24] These failures establish that sexual orientation is resistant to change, but they do not say anything about its ontogeny or etiology. Sexual orientation can be unchangeable without being genetically determined. There is strong observational evidence to support the claim that sexual orientation is difficult to change, but this evidence is perfectly compatible with non-genetic accounts of the origins of sexual orientations. More importantly, we should not embrace arguments that seek to legitimate homosexuality by denying that there is any choice in sexual preference because the implicit premise of such arguments is that if there was a choice, then homosexuals would be blameworthy.

ENDS
Let me add this video
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Stick To Winning Souls, Church! ………………

Well a letter writer to the Gleaner has echoed a sentiment I have been expressing for years literally via my blogs as I feel the church as a movement (not a money making machine via psyche) has lost its way and is too busy not doing its core function, case in point lately the hypocritical call for the stopping of Sunday racing and of course the uproar from the promise by current Prime Minister to review the buggery law and a conscience vote.

Interestingly this business of horse racing on Sundays has been coming since 2009, here is another old post I had done on the matter with reference to a letter from the Jamaica Observer:

here is the letter from the Gleaner today:

Stick To Winning Souls, Church!

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaica Council of Churches and other religious groups are exercising their right in opposing horse racing on Sundays.

The churches are fully entitled to demand action and inaction from the Government. However, the Government has a responsibility to maintain the separation of Church and State. Jamaica is a secular state.

That being the case, the Government should allow various groups to conduct their affairs as they see fit, provided their activities are in compliance with the laws of Jamaica.

Over the years, operators of small bars and clubs have been forced by law to close their businesses on Sundays.

At the same time, the large supermarkets are allowed to open their doors on Sundays and sell every type of liquor from Sunday morning until Sunday night. This is a form of discrimination.

If the operators of the Caymanas Track Ltd desire to have horse racing on Sunday, they should be permitted to do so.

The Council of Churches should follow the lead of the Seventh-day Adventists who have got the approach right. The position of the Seventh-day Adventists is that their core function is to win over believers to Christ. They are, therefore, not relying on Government to force people away from sinful activities and into their church.

The Church should stick to its core function of winning souls. I believe that the religious leaders who oppose gambling should take it as a challenge to convince the members of the public to come to their church on Sundays instead of going to the Caymanas Park.

The Church and the State should be kept apart, as their functions are different, and any merger will not only be inconsistent with our constitutional arrangements but will constitute a grave danger to those of us who are not members of the denomination with which the State has merged.

LINTON P. GORDON

Ocho Rios, St Ann

lpgordon@cwjamaica.com

ENDS

In June 2009 among other things I had posted on Gay Jamaica Watch:

“I thought the church was about winning souls for Christ no matter who that soul is, including gays and lesbians, wasn’t Jesus for inclusion instead some of the “intellectuals” within the church exercise their bigoted thoughts openly setting all these preconditions before the “sinner” can even see the church door.

What about come as you are and God loves you?

Most churches dismiss persons once they are found to be gay or lesbian with little or any care, isn’t that defeating the purpose of what Christ decreed we as saved persons should do…..”go ye into the world and preach the gospel……” not condemn people because they don’t fit your Utopian view of the world.

Sad that this is what we have become, one wonders if the church by it’s actions of some of who say they are saved are giving more power to the enemy notable atheists and the anti Christ supporters when we behave with some harsh discrimination, during the conversation by the way the young man said that the pastor some Sundays ago of a church he attended said he wanted no offerings from gays. So we can now decide who want offerings from, wow.

Makes me wonder if the church and biblical doctrine is used by some to forward homophobic as well as other discriminatory views maybe that explains the attrition from it’s halls and corridors as most young people aren’t even interested in going to church these days.

As for using the bible as a beating stick over the heads of “sinners” is just plain wrong to me. Famous among the quotes is Leviticus 20: 13

GOOD NEWS VERSION:
“If a man has sexual relations with another man they have done a disgusting thing and both shall be out to death, They are responsible for their own death”

The book also speaks of incest, having sex with a woman while she is seeing her period or sleeping with animals etc.
I understood these rules to be of the old covenant and they were intended for the ceremonies of ancient Israel as issued to Moses, The main theme of the book is to emphasis holiness of God and the ways in which the people were to worship and live to maintain holiness with God of Israel. I haven’t seen anything on lesbianism in it.
I stand corrected though if you know more help me out, I am just adding my two cents but I would have thought we are now under grace not law.

Most of these books of the Bible that do speak to homosexuality never mentioned it as if God himself said it but then again he said love thy neighbour as thyself, judge not and ye shall not be judged. Romans for example was Paul’s way of introducing himself to the Romans in Rome his plan was to work among them there and then gather support then move on to Spain. He wrote to explain his understanding of the christian faith and it’s practical implications for the lives of Christians. While he covers the rules, conscience and holy living an underlying theme that seems to run through the book is not judging each other, something that the church these days seem to forget.

Wasn’t the book of Leviticus supposed to be a set of guidelines for the Hebrews after they left the hard hands of the Egyptians under slavery? being nation-less as it were seeking to form some sense of order via this set of laws also known as the holiness codes.”
Bishop Everton Thomas from the Emmanuel Apostolic Church also weighed in on the matter but said the Jamaica Observer misquoted him on a radio program that some of what he said were not his words but he was presenting other views, this is instructive however as a major voice of the clergy has come out critiquing the very clergy:

Bishop says church’s stance on gambling hypocritical

Their lack of understanding the issues is also glaring from religious voices opposing supposed homosexuality as was evidenced in another letter this time from the Jamaica Observer:

Save us from the ravages of buggery

Dear Editor,

What in the name of God and His Son Jesus Christ is the urgency to change a law that has offered our boys a little protection from the male predators who have carted them to their apartments and for a few dollars have often damaged them physically?

What is it that makes it a priority for the perverted preference of a minority in this nation to have their way while thousands of these little boys are going to their beds hungry and because of that hunger are easy prey?

A high-ranking clergyman is quoted as saying that the buggery law will be changed this year. Is this a political favour for funds received? Is this the price of political power? What is it?

Have we, as a nation, gone so mad with greed and lust that we would sacrifice our bodies and souls on the altar of perversity? Can we endure the wrath of God almighty?

My dear Sister P, is this what you offer to God who brought you to where you are?

I appeal to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, while you give us jobs to save us from poverty, save us also from the ravages of buggery and the related agenda of the buggers.

Suzette Douglas

benaiahone@hotmail.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Save-us-from-the-ravages-of-buggery_10708026#ixzz1lhFFUbRQ

The fear and paranoia that is caused when these matters are commented on by persons opposed to homosexuality in general just chokes whatever discourse that ought to take place, with supposed cures or reparative therapy for stopping persons from being gay when such therapies as proven over and over only slow down behaviour while instilling shame in the individual but does not change ones orientation.

also see:  The hypocritical and opportunist religous right

Peace and tolerance

H

Shirley Richards: No to reviewing the buggery law …..

Dear Editor,

Mrs Simpson Miller’s recent comments on the matter of homosexuality and sexual orientation have caused many of us to be seriously concerned. One wonders if Mrs Simpson Miller is aware of the following:

* In Europe, Canada and the USA pastors and others are punished for expressing disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle.

* Harry Hammond, the 69-year-old street preacher in England who was beaten by a group of homosexuals, was charged with inciting violence against himself.

* A middle-age Jamaican couple living in England, who had fostered children many times before, were recently denied the opportunity to foster because they could not tell a young child that it’s okay to be a homosexual.

* In Canada, kindergarten children in the public school system are exposed to homosexual teaching as if it were normal behaviour and their parents have no power to do anything about it.

* Catholic adoptions agencies in England have closed because they rightly refused to place children in homosexual households.

* Gary McFarlane, a solicitor of Jamaican descent living in England, who is also a professional counsellor, was sacked from his counselling job for refusing in principle to offer sex therapy to homosexuals.

* Buggery is the most efficient way to spread HIV/AIDS. Over the last two years the Government has spent over $590 million to fight the disease.

Shouldn’t Jamaica be doing everything in its power to discourage the disease? Why then review the buggery law?

Who are Mrs Simpson Miller’s advisors?

Jamaica is accustomed to standing on its own to defend principles. We are little, but we tallawah. Our success cannot be based on economics alone. Whilst we say no to physical violence against all persons, we also say no to reviewing laws and policies which currently block the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle.

People of Jamaica, be warned!

Shirley Richards

St Andrew

meanwhile: Portia Simpson Miller – SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11

also see previous Observer Letters linked below

Where was the church all along?

Dear Editor,

This is an open letter to all the organised groups of churches in Jamaica.

My name is Jevon Minto. I am currently in my second year at Northern Caribbean University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in religion and theology.

Jamaica is one of those countries where the church still influences the decisions of the State. And while this opportunity exists, no other group of people is more unconcerned about social life than the church. Every other group is speaking out, except the church. I think you all deserve a beating from God for rejecting the prophetic ministry that He has called you to, especially where it concerns politics.

If secularism takes over Jamaica you all should be blamed! If Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller did not propose to review the buggery law — if she is re-elected — would Jamaica hear anything from you [the church] at this time?

Imagine, three national political debates and not one of the panellists represented the church. Not one question was asked regarding the church. Why speak now and talk ill of the proposition made by the Opposition?

I am definitely not in support of homosexuality, but if the church did not assume such a passive role in the affairs of the nation, then we would not have a leader even thinking about making such a proposal in public.

It leads me to question your integrity. Are you Christian, or are you Christian excused? Did Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, behave in such a passive manner where the issues of the nation were concerned? Was He hypocritical, or was He a self-aggrandiser?

Did He not care for the entire man instead of just the Spiritual man? Until you care more about Jamaica rather than the church, reserve your comments. They only make people laugh at you and make God disappointed in you!

Jevon Minto

jminto10@stu.nuc.edu.jm

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Where-was-the-church-all-along_10447129#ixzz1hpPpGe5a

and

Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner

Dear Editor,

Mrs Simpson Miller’s statement regarding the buggery law was a brave and commendable act. I openly applaud her for exercising her right as a Jamaican citizen to speak freely about her views on the topical issue of homosexuality.

I believe that every Jamaican has the right to decide for himself or herself what sexual orientation he or she is comfortable with and wishes to pursue. This is why I believe that the uproar from the Council of Churches is just ridiculous. Firstly, she did not say she was about to legalise homosexuality, and secondly, how can the Christian bodies in this country advocate the continued marginalisation of a small fraction of our society?

Correct me if I am wrong. Wasn’t Jesus Christ the one who said that He came to save the lost and isn’t it also the belief and hope of every Christian to be like Jesus? So if they feel so strongly about the homosexual minority being ‘lost’ why not try to ‘save’ them by showing them the same love and compassion Jesus would?

Is it that those who choose to enter into same-sex relationships are less human than Jamaicans who are heterosexual? Homosexuals are people too. This I-am-better-than-you-and-so-have-the-moral-authority-to-bash-you mentality was the driving force for the enslavement of our beautiful black race for over 400 years, and it is definitely not Christian-like.

Jesus urged us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. As much as the Council of Churches dislikes it, homosexuals are our neighbours. Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner. It is full time for Jamaica to move away from homophobia. That sort of thinking is more crippling to our society than homosexuality is because it engenders abject disgust, hate and intolerance to our fellow Jamaican brothers and sisters who are exercising their freedom of choice.

Claudelle Maitland

 UWI Mona

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Jesus-hates-the-sin–not-the-sinner_10448020#ixzz1hpQH3bBy

also

Why a conscience vote on sodomy, Mrs Simpson Miller?

Dear Editor,

Baggaley et al of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Paddington, London, UK, reporting in the International Journal of Epidemiology of August 2010 in the article: “HIV transmission risk through anal intercourse: systematic review, meta-analysis and implications for HIV prevention”, stated that among both heterosexuals and homosexuals, “Unprotected anal intercourse is a high-risk practice for HIV transmission”.

Also, local media reported that the Jamaican Government found it necessary to set aside a total of some J$594 million for HIV prevention during the 2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011 fiscal years.

In light of this data, why would Mrs Simpson Miller consider bringing the decriminalisation of sodomy to a conscience vote ?

Wayne West

 Kgn 6

 wayne_west@hotmail.com

Buggery law backlash – Blair: The church has been sleeping – Blair warns review could lead to same-sex marriages

NADINE WILSON of the Observer reported:

BISHOP Hero Blair has warned that Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller’s pledge to review the buggery law if her party is elected to office on Thursday could lead to the legalisation of same-sex marriages in Jamaica.

At the same time, Blair, the political ombudsman and founder of the Deliverance Evangelistic Association Inc, advised his congregation on Sunday to get their candidates’ views on moral issues before voting in the general election.

BLAIR… we have to stop it in its bud

“My concern is not with reviewing a law, my concern is that next year this time, if you as Christians don’t go out and listen to the voice of God — not Herro Blair now — to direct you, because we don’t know who is who… my concern is that next year this time, the next thing that is going to happen in this country is an approach to same-sex marriage,” Blair said during his Christmas Day message to about 2,000 members at his church on Waltham Park Road in Kingston.

“Unnu build a prison for me, because I’m not doing it,” the bishop said, echoing the sentiments of some pastors who told the Observer last week that they would never accept the lifestyle of the gay, transgendered and lesbian community.

Last Tuesday night during the national leadership debate between Simpson Miller and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Simpson Miller said her People’s National Party (PNP), if elected to form the Government, would review the buggery law and ask for a conscience vote on the issue in Parliament.

Her pledge has reignited what has traditionally been a hot-button issue in Jamaica where homosexuality is frowned upon by the majority of the population.

For years, local and international gay lobbyists have been trying to get Jamaica to repeal the buggery law, but have so far been unsuccessful in their bid.

Recently, the United Kingdom said it would cut aid to countries that uphold laws against homosexuality, while the United States indicated that it would ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons.

Bishop Blair, in his message on Sunday, pointed to that kind of international pressure, saying: “God not dead, God not asleep, God will look out for his own and Jamaica don’t want no English man, and we don’t want no Spanish man, and we don’t want nobody from Europe or China to tell us how to live; and what they are doing is that they are putting pressure on our politicians to yield.”

He urged his congregants to call the candidates seeking their votes and ascertain their individual views on homosexuality, ahead of Thursday’s general election.

“You are going to vote on Thursday [but] before you vote, don’t call Portia and don’t call Andrew, call your candidate and ask your candidate what are their moral beliefs, what they defend,” he cautioned during the service, which was attended by the PNP candidate for St Andrew East Central Dr Peter Phillips and his JLP contender Beverly Prince.

“My problem is not with reviewing the law, I am going to review it tomorrow (Monday), I have it in my office. I am going to look at it, that’s a review,” Blair said. “But when you get a government — any government out of the two elected — and one have three here and the other may have six or seven over there, that is 10 out of 63. We have to stop it in its bud, you are going to have to kill it in its bud,” he said.

“I will go back to country and I will plant yellow yam and cocoa and dasheen and I will start a dasheen factory or a cocoa factory; I will sell tamarind ball, but this country is God’s country,” he said.

The pastor, who reminded the churchgoers that God had destroyed two cities before because of immorality, was equally vocal about what he believes was the silence of the church community on the issue.

“The church has been sleeping in this nation. The whole church has been sleeping in this nation because the church of the living God has given up its responsibility and that’s why they cuss us off whenever they want to,” said the pastor.

In an obvious attempt to demonstrate his point that the church has a responsibility to preach the word of God, Blair asked for a lighter or a match to burn his Bible. The request was met with silence.

“Then if I can’t burn it, why I can’t preach what in it?” he asked.

Last week, several pastors made it clear that they could not endorse the homosexual lifestyle as it goes against the teachings of the Bible.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Buggery-law-backlash_10460197#ixzz1hmXT8kpz

also see the Gleaner:

Repealing Buggery Laws A Return To Moral Depravity

A response came from a blogger:

Which Hat Is Blair Wearing?

THE EDITOR, Sir:

THE FAITH-BASED community seemingly takes pride in demonstrating an aversion to objectivity and inclusiveness. This position is apparently supported by Bishop Herro Blair’s recent pronouncements from the pulpit that parishioners should quiz their political candidates about their moral beliefs and “what they defend”.

Implicit within the context of this instruction is a prejudice towards a Judeo-Christian moral code and an exclusion of those whom Christians misguidedly claim God burnt down two cities to eradicate. I wasn’t aware that political representatives had an obligation to their constituents to espouse the value system of evangelical Christianity, but as evidenced by the frenzied applause and ‘amens’ such diatribes usually receive, I am apparently in the minority.

clarify stance

I urge Bishop Blair to clarify what exactly he means by “we have to stop it in its bud, you are going to have to kill it in its bud”. This to me sounds like a thinly veiled incitement to some sort of violence in order to protect this ‘good Christian nation’ from the infiltration of the iniquitous. Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war?

In response to these views, I expect to hear that criticism of what comes from the pulpit is the first sign of the end of times and that next “they” will want to stop prayer in schools, marry their goats, and walk naked in the streets. Clerics such as Blair are, of course, the most entitled to freedom of speech because they are conduits for the infallible word of God and as such any opposition to whatever nonsense they may spew is opposition to God and is, therefore, anti-christian.

I wonder which skin the good Bishop was in when he made these recommendations to his parishioners in the presence of the incumbent member of parliament and his rival. Was he bishop first and political ombudsman second?

Bishop Blair ought to be responsible with what he says, where he says it, and must be aware of the conflicts of interest his pronouncements as bishop may bring about with his position as political ombudsman. If there is incompatibility with the two then he should do the honourable thing and resign from the latter.

Brian-Paul N. Welsh

brianpaul.welsh@gmail.com

Fundamental Questions On Homosexuality (Gleaner Letter 05.10.11) …………

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Fundamental Questions On Homosexuality

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have resisted the desire long enough, and hesitated to speak on the controversial subject of homosexuality. However, with the useful and open-minded information given to us by The Gleaner and other news media, there are certain facts which may be considered simple, but have not been dealt with.

1. No one seems to know in what period of human history the divine plan of procreation was changed from heterosexual to same-sex unions.

2. There is not yet unanimous agreement even among the theologians who are supposed to be God’s spokespersons.

3. What were the reasons or conditions for this unnatural change?

4. Can anyone declare boldly that the spiritual Intelligent Being, whatever He or She is called, made a mistake in creating male and female?

5. Who sets the spiritual and moral standards for us sinful, mortal people?

These are fundamental questions for us to consider in our discussion of this worldwide problem created by the human mind, and being used effectively by evil spirits which have completed their work of deception.

The question to all who say homosexuality is not a transgression is, where in the Bible do we find the command to use that part of the body which ejects garbage from the body for sexual intercourse?

LINDSAY MONCRIEFFE (Rev)

St Andrew

ENDS

Obviously this writer is just using the guise of entertaining discourse to spew putrid hate simply put but if I may answer with one overall observation I have of the whole thing then delve into some other matters, The books of the Bible when they were being put together certainly never had the concept of homosexuality directly infused in the writings and we are told by scholars that there was not even a word for to describe the person or the practices associated with such, there have been some references however in the old testament to what could amount as same gender loving unions in a sense for example David and Jonathan – There is no real need to bring out a passage showing approval of homosexuality. After all, the Bible condemns only those actions it actually condemns, and homosexuality is not one of those things.

However, even though they are not strictly necessary, there *are* several passages that show approval of gay relationships.
To mention just one, there is the love affair between David and Jonathan.

1 Samuel 18:1,3
“And it came to pass, when he [David] had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul . . . And Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”
And immediately afterward, Jonathan disrobed before David:
1 Samuel 18:4
“Jonathan divested himself of the mantle he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military dress, and his sword, his bow and his belt.
Jonathan was not only disrobing, but was turning the symbols of his manhood over to David. This draws a very clear picture of what is happening here.
1 Samuel 20:30
“Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse [David] to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?”
Reference to the nakedness of one’s parents is one of the methods used in the Bible to refer to a sexual relationship. Jonathan had chosen David as his lover. And in the same conversations Saul says:
1 Samuel 20:31
Why, as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth you cannot make good your claim to the kingship!
This clarifies Saul’s problem. One of the most important duties of being a king was producing an heir. Obviously, Jonathan had no intention of producing an heir, and therefore could not provide the final step needed to make good his claim to the kingship. He loved David and *only* David.

Continue HERE

or the The Centurion and His Pais

People who dislike homosexuals, disapprove of homosexuals, or are afraid of homosexuals for one reason or another, enjoy using their Christian Bibles to excuse their attitudes. Why? Apparently because it gives them permission, and helps them feel righteous and good about themselves while they do it.

“I’m loving the Sinner, but hating the Sin,” they say. Which helps them feel close to God, close to Jesus, following nothing more than what their Bibles tell them in Jesus’ own language of English.

Sadly, people who do so have never really read their Bibles, never really thought about the words.

How the words got there. What they meant originally, when the writers wrote them in the original languages (which, believe it or not, were *not English).

What the times, and the people, and the cultures, and the politics, and the level of scientific knowledge, and the history was like when the original writers wrote.

Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident, today, than regarding the question of “What does the Bible say about homosexuals?” Or, most importantly for Evangelical Christians, “What would *Jesus say about homosexuals?”

To support their prejudice against homosexuals, many Christians haul out the Genesis story of Sodom, or the Levitical priestly proscription, or the New Testament writings of St. Paul in Romans:1, or his letter to Timothy, etc. In reply, gay-friendly Christians offer the story of David & Jonathan, or Ruth &

Naomi, or Jesus & The Beloved Disciple.

Unfortunately, all the above passages from the Bible, whether Old Testament or New Testament, whether viewed as anti-gay or pro-gay, are extremely problematical. Pick a scholar — any scholar — and you can get an interpretation, backed by reasonable findings, to support your personal view one way or another about *any of the above passages.

There is only *one place in the entire Bible where we can find a glimpse of how Jesus personally felt, or might have felt, about homosexuals and their relationship to Him…their relationship to God, as we Christians know God. It’s the New Testament story of the Centurion and his Servant.

The story is told in two separate Gospels in our New Testament: Matthew 8:5-13, and Luke 7:1-10, regarding the Centurion who approaches Jesus so that his “servant” (modern English translation) might be cured. In Matthew’s version, the Centurion came directly to Jesus seeking His help. In Luke’s version, the Centurion called upon the Elders of Capernaum’s Jews, sending them in his place to seek help. In Matthew, Jesus went to meet the Centurion and spoke to him. In Luke, Jesus did not actually meet the Centurion but spoke to the city’s Elders about his request, instead. (So much for Biblical inerrancy)

More HERE

Peace and tolerance

H

Will J-FLAG, Other Rights Groups Support Paedophiles? (Gleaner Letter 10.09.11)

Readers yet another hint to the supposed confusion between adult same gender loving relationships importantly with consent versus paedophilia which are NOT one in the same. Over these many years we as a community and the advocates namely Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG (yet again we have to see the failings) in their proper role as such have poorly rebutted these misconceptions of the two from mainly the tabloids presenting sensational stories of rapes, abuses on children and teens as done so by supposed gay men when we know that most paedophiles including those who carry out same gender paedophilia are heterosexual and the motivator for such crimes is psychological control of the victim(s) more so than sex. Homosexuality has not been linked to paedophilia in any scientific way or any studies that can stand.

But we lack again another element urgently needed which falls under the psychological interventions to be incorporated into LGBT activism, we are eons away from there it seems as the recent homeless MSM civil disobedience and fallout has proven as it is those very glaring missing frontline elements that led to it to have happened a second time.

An article on the issue elsewhere comes to mind from 2010 where the Vatican’s number two linked paedophilia to homosexuality, prompting strong condemnation from gay rights advocates and several governments, including France’s. As a result, the Vatican distanced itself from the remarks. Is this latest spat an illustration of the mindset within the Vatican, or is it evidence of the media’s hounding of the Catholic Church? see the link for the video

http://www.france24.com/en/20100415-church-paedophilia-is-homosexuality-to-blame and http://glbtqjamaica.blogspot.com/2010/04/pedophilia-linked-to-homosexuality-says.html

Have a read of the letter from the Gleaner, my two cents continues below that: 

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I’m inviting J-FLAG to explain to Jamaica what ‘all-sexuals’ means in its name. Does it mean persons with all kinds of sexual preferences, such as persons who prefer (or rather, as J-FLAG would put it, are orientated) to have sex with animals, children or family members?

I would like to hear J-FLAG’s position on paedophilia because of a recent article in the United States which showed that there is such a group called the National Man-Boy Association and another called B 4 U ACT, which are both organisations for paedophiles. One of their aims is to normalise adult sex with pubescent and pre-pubescent children. They are encouraged by the removal of homosexuality from the list of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the 1970s. They acknowledge that it was staunch lobbying and political will that led to this removal, and so also want paedophilia to be removed from the DSM.

Sexual pleasure and confidence

Interestingly, The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has as one of its goals: “Young people must be able to have pleasure and confidence in relationships and all aspects of sexuality.” IPPF identifies young people as being from the age of 10-24. Does IPPF mean by “all aspects of sexuality” that young people should welcome or participate in sex with animals, children or family members? Or is IPPF a cover for the legalisation of paedophilia?

Finally, note the trajectory we are on in Jamaica of seeking to legitimise homosexuality and see where it leads. I read recently an article which referenced an essay called ‘The Overhauling of Straight America’ that strategies put forward to normalise and mainstream homosexuality, included talking about gays and gayness as loudly and often as possible; portraying gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers; giving protectors a just cause; making gays look good; making victimisers look bad; and launching media campaigns.

We can see this pattern in the pro-gay movement in Jamaica. So I just want to know what J-FLAG stands for, and if protecting tolerance for ‘all-sexuals’, particularly the all-sexuals who prefer children, will be part of their objectives.

I also invite Families Against State Terrorism, the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights and all the other groups which support J-FLAG to let me know if they would support those who maintain that sex with minors and animals should also be a recognised and legalised0 right.

MOTHER OF TWO

ENDS

The way the letter writer groups the other human rights groups in the bag with the J has made them tainted and I fear there maybe some withdrawal of support if only for the short term as many of the boards of these groups have  homophobes on them who may not want the organizations that they have oversight for to go down that road. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) which is being debated and put together for May 2013 it seems disingenuous that the writer did not bother to double check before putting pen to paper as the proposed DSM 5 site is up and running and clearly states the present circumstances despite the agitations from the so called pedo groups.

See

Pedohebephilic Disorder

Rationale

[1] The Paraphilias Subworkgroup is proposing two broad changes that affect all or several of the paraphilia diagnoses, in addition to various amendments to specific diagnoses. The first broad change follows from our consensus that paraphilias are not ipso facto psychiatric disorders. We are proposing that the DSM-V make a distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders. A paraphilia by itself would not automatically justify or require psychiatric intervention. A paraphilic disorder is a paraphilia that causes distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others. One would ascertain a paraphilia (according to the nature of the urges, fantasies, or behaviors) but diagnose a paraphilic disorder (on the basis of distress and impairment). In this conception, having a paraphilia would be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having a paraphilic disorder.

This approach leaves intact the distinction between normative and non-normative sexual behavior, which could be important to researchers, but without automatically labeling non-normative sexual behavior as psychopathological. It also eliminates certain logical absurdities in the DSM-IV-TR. In that version, for example, a man cannot be classified as a transvestite—however much he cross-dresses and however sexually exciting that is to him—unless he is unhappy about this activity or impaired by it. This change in viewpoint would be reflected in the diagnostic criteria sets by the addition of the word “Disorder” to all the paraphilias. Thus, Sexual Sadism would become Sexual Sadism Disorder; Sexual Masochism would become Sexual Masochism Disorder, and so on.

In general, the distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders is reflected in the format of the diagnostic criteria for specific paraphilias. Paraphilias are ascertained according to the “A” criteria, and paraphilic disorders are diagnosed according to the “A” and “B” criteria. The distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders is discussed in the context of specific diagnoses by Blanchard (2009b, 2009c). CONTINUE HERE

Pedophilia

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).

B. The person has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.

C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.

Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13- year-old.

Specify if:

Sexually Attracted to Males

Sexually Attracted to Females

Sexually Attracted to Both

Specify if:

Limited to Incest

Specify type:

Exclusive Type (attracted only to children)

Nonexclusive Type

CONTINUE HERE
also see:  Why most “pedophiles” aren’t really pedophiles, technically speaking or Crowds gather at Mandeville Courthouse for Trade show man charged with indecent assault on 13yo boy

Paedophilia, the predominant sexual aberration says Psychiatrist and the church’s response.

The Homo-Negativity Surrounding Paedophilia …….

Ephebophilia vs Paedophilia & Male Homosexuality (REPOST)

On the 13th of September Executive Director Dane Lewis responded in a letter to the Gleaner

J-FLAG Clarifies Controversial All-Sexuals Tag

Peace and tolerance

H

Homophobic mob bound to fall (Observer Letter) …. writer errs with “Victimless Buggery Law” line

Dear Editor,

The homophobic gang is Jamaica is one that is very mob-like and is similar to many gangs (mobs) that form just about anywhere. I spend a lot of time around them and realise this just from their actions – whom they look up to, their talking points and the slogans they choose to chant. Just read up on mob (crowd) psychology and you realise this

The homophobic gang is Jamaica is one that is very mob-like and is similar to many gangs (mobs) that form just about anywhere. I spend a lot of time around them and realise this just from their actions – whom they look up to, their talking points and the slogans they choose to chant. Just read up on mob (crowd) psychology and you realise this

The first thing that is common among mobs (gangs) is that they always have leaders or a group of leaders that they deeply respect and salute when they do a deed in their favour. Gangs like the “Shower Posse” have respected leaders like “Dudus/Presi” while the homophobic gang (mob) has its leaders in the government, the music industry and the church.

The first thing that is common among mobs (gangs) is that they always have leaders or a group of leaders that they deeply respect and salute when they do a deed in their favour. Gangs like the “Shower Posse” have respected leaders like “Dudus/Presi” while the homophobic gang (mob) has its leaders in the government, the music industry and the church.

From the sayings in government like “Not in my Cabinet”, which seemed to have improved Bruce Golding’s ratings among the church leaders who wield their enormous power to influence the media on whether or not to show the gay PSA and anti-gay dancehall artistes whom they worship and cry about when they mess up, it is quite obvious as to how the saviour or messiah mentality of the homophobic mob (gang) operates when a leader chooses to unleash his demagogy.

The second thing that is common among mobs is their heightened sense of defence; they launch into “attack mode” if they feel their gang is threatened. They defend their mob by taking advantage of the ignorance of their members. By telling their members the lie that all or most gay men are child molesters, wealthy, violence-prone, prostitutes or that they can “catch” homosexuality or be encouraged into the so-called “lifestyle”, they create this “us versus them” mentality that they use to keep their members in bondage on the homophobic plantation away from all sensible debate and reasoning. They readily launched into “attack mode” when the pro-gay public service announcement was to be aired by standing behind the bedroom-intruding buggery law (I don’t see what the PSA had to do with buggery) which their leaders defend.

They use chants and slogans to identify each other when in attack mode such as “Chi-chi man fi dead” similar to the Nazi mob with “Heil Hitler” to identify each other and to show one’s loyalty to the gang. If you dare to fathom, realise or imagine just one thing wrong or hypocritical about the gang, you are banished and labelled as gay or part of the enemy. The third thing about gang culture is their insatiable appetite for power, conquest and domination.

The homophobic mob in Jamaica loves and defends their useless and victimless buggery law because to them it holds the secret to the prevention of an upcoming tsunami of homosexuality, if the law were to be removed from the books. Nothing could be further from the truth. The buggery law isn’t even enforced and neither does it criminalise homosexuality. It criminalises anal sex which can also be done by heterosexuals. Homosexuality and anal sex are not synonymous as any dictionary will define homosexuality as “an attraction to a member of the same sex” and not just some sexual activity. The mob will also use its power and control of the media to make fun of gays and exaggerate and sensationalise things that only a few gay men will do. Their control over the media manifested itself the day the gay PSA was rejected. I’m sure if a PSA were to be made denouncing homosexuality it would be accepted as only the mob is allowed to speak and have a voice. All mobs are dangerous and the homophobic one will fall one day.

David Thomas

 May Pen, Clarendon

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Homophobic-mob-bound-to-fall_9553758#ixzz1Wnx3yKa4

ENDS

As more and more seemingly over exuberant youngins join the letter writing campaign which is commendable but this is a good letter overall but there is no such thing as a “victimless buggery law” that is like ignoring those persons (consenting SGL males apart from same sex paedophiles who may not be homosexuals) over these many years who have suffered under that charge, it’s an insult to their pain and suffering they went through, plus the arduous task of recovery (if the case is adjourned sine die) these writers need to be properly couched or do some basic research as we may very well weaken our case, we have to provide some guidance to our letter writers as simple mistakes (may look harmless) can be a problem and give the anti gay opposition free ammunition they weren’t looking for.

Youthful exuberance or a pinch of activist fever is good but we must be careful how we rant on issues, we cannot designate the Buggery Law to be victimless when in days gone by persons who were so called “caught in the act” and hauled before the courts by police or as in one case several year ago in Montego Bay two young men who were suspected of being gay and having sex were paraded naked in the streets to the police precinct with a large jeering crowd following all the way hurling insults at them, they were indeed charged with buggery but the case later fizzled as with many Buggery cases that have no proper evidence which is basically a doctor’s report, the cops basically did it then simply because they could and there were no serious consequences for such infractions of citizens rights during those dark days. Penetration anally is the main proof needed for a buggery charge to stick with spermatozoa cells present in either in the anal cavity or around the excretory orifice and it must match the other party(ies) involved or co-accused in the case.

Sadly many cases languish in our system as the wheels of justice are slow and if the case is adjourned sine die (lack of prosecution follow up but it can be called up in seven years time by them) the rebuilding of ones reputation and by extension life is hard in some instances where displacement and family rejection come in. If we are to present therefore our arguments they must be ethically and factually balanced with remembering the victims no matter how large or small their ordeals under this old tired law that obviously needs to go.

Think on these things

Peace and tolerance

H

Shocked At Church’s Stance On Gay PSA (Gleaner Letter) …. but where is the unconditional love for the least amongst us???

Here is another letter yet again on the rejected Public Service Announcement PSA by Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG juxtaposing it to the love that God called for, wonderful letter indeed but let us look at how unconditional the Js have been to the homeless community, do they or their representatives have the moral authority or credibility to ask for any tolerance, acceptance or inclusiveness in anything what so ever, also what seems missing here is the fact that the letter writer may have missed a recent discussion on CVM TV’s Live @ 7 with host Elon Parkinson who  has given space to discuss LGBT issues before.

Some advise was given by two media heavyweights on the ad and how it ought to be handled.

First read the letter as captioned above:

Jamaica Gleaner Company

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The mere fact that God made every man in his own image, and Jesus Christ the son of God is the epitome of unconditional love, I am appalled that the Church took an objectionable stance against unconditional love being given to gay and lesbian siblings or children by family members in Jamaica.

I have come to the conclusion that the churches in Jamaica are primarily responsible for the promotion of hatred and intolerance towards homosexuals.

One’s sexuality helps to form one’s identity. The Bible teaches man “to love thy neighbour as he or she would love thyself”. Clearly, the majority of Jamaican church leaders preach oppression, indirect violence and hatred towards our gay and lesbian children. Hence, these ungodly utterances and gestures are unbecoming of the fundamental principles the Church was built on.

Furthermore, the absence of real love shown by church leaders to homosexuals is preposterous! How can a man of God and a follower of Jesus Christ forbid family members from showing their children and loved ones unconditional love because he or she is a homosexual? This is nonsensical and unlike Christ.

Hatred must stop

Therefore, the preaching of homophobic hatred and alienation by Jamaican churches must stop immediately. The beating and killing of our children based on their sexuality is inhumane and cruel. Some church leaders claim that that they do not support the killing and beating of gays and lesbians, but at the same time, they have turned a blind eye and deaf ear towards the suffering and eradication of their homosexual family members and friends.

Thus, out of many one people, we should unconditionally love and support our Jamaican brothers and sisters.

I am, etc.,

DWAYNE BROWN

Duanyex@hotmail.com

My two cents continued:
It was suggested during the CVM program that the ad seems rushed and that they should have considered running the first ad a criticism I have also echoed before the airing of the program during the furor over it. The hypocrisy that now attends the groups make them tainted and ineffective in asking for any form of tolerance.

Please see:
Settle the Score on CVM TV’s Live @ 7 (26.08.11)…the JFLAG ad campaign

The recent stand in western Jamaica over the weekend is a glaring testament to that fact:

Maurice Tomlinson (right), legal adviser, Marginalised AIDS-Free World Group, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, and Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays representatives staging a peaceful stand in front of the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay during the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network, Caribbean Cytometry & Analytical Society (CCAS), Centers for Disease Control Third Joint Meeting and Eighth CCAS HIV/AIDS Workshop last Wednesday morning. -  Photo by Janet Silvera

notice the homelessness referenced in the sign in the photo but these are the same groups that have banned a set of homeless MSMs under the guise of bad behaviour whilst hiring a canine team to stop the men from coming to the property thus depriving them of access to the very treatment and care services the first ad/video speaks to:

see:  Hypocrisy, Continued damage control via stands or a genuine call for inclusiveness in western Jamaica?

here is my latest audio commentary on that as well

Peace and tolerance

H

Biased frivolity (Observer Letter)

Biased frivolity

Dear Editor,

My faith in your paper as a whole has been severely compromised by your staff reporter, Donna Hussey-Whyte, on account of the August 21 article, “Rowdy gays banned by J-FLAG, JASL”. Certainly the news item itself was worth telling, as poor conduct by any of our citizens is something to decry. What saddened me was her flagrantly homophobic language when she referred to one source as speaking “with the customary feminine drawl” as she smartly added the gender-bending detail that he was dressed in “women’s tights” before going on to talk about the sexual “preference” of an allegedly murdered 15-year-old gay teenager.

I thought that journalists were supposed to be above the common ebb of public discourse. I thought that journalists were supposed to remain impartial in their presentation of the news. How then can Ms Hussey-Whyte presume to take her role seriously in this charged, contentious social environment if she will stoop to use such irresponsible language in her writing? Of what “customary feminine drawl” was she speaking? I have many gay friends in at least four different countries and few have anything “customary” about their language. And what of the teenager murdered because of his sexual orientation? I suppose his “preference” brought him that outcome? That remark was particularly callous.

What Ms Hussey-Whyte has done is successfully taken the dignity of the Jamaica Observer (a paper I really liked) to a new low by abandoning the ethics that govern the field of journalism. Neutrality is the ultimate defence of any news person or body, and your reporter lost that when she decided to pander stereotypes and judgement when speaking about things of which she visibly knows nothing at all.

For clarification:

(1) All gay men do not have feminine drawls so there can be no such thing as “customary” in reference to millions of men around the world.

(2) All gay men do not wear feminine attire. In fact, men who do wear feminine clothing are considered to be transvestites — regardless of their sexual orientation.

(3) Sexual orientation is just that — an orientation. No one “prefers” being considered a social deviant by his or her community and family, neither does one readily “prefer” a life of ridicule, ostracism and even self-loathing here in Jamaica — listed among the most homophobic and violent countries in the world. I fail to see the “preference”.

Ms Hussey-Whyte’s article focused on marginal elements of the gay community — delinquent male prostitutes and transvestites living on the street and struggling to find their way. Rowdy or not, their stories deserve to be treated with respect and seriousness as their plight affects us all — gays and straights. No one wants to hear that HIV-positive people are roaming about engaging in commercial sex and not receiving treatment. Their clients are our brothers, fathers, bosses and friends and so transactional sex among the homeless, gay or straight, deserves real reporting. Instead, you offered us juvenile humour and bigotry. Shame on you and the Jamaica Observer for publishing such biased frivolity.

Bin Nicht

downwithhate@hotmail.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Biased-frivolity_9503288#ixzz1VrMgSIF6

 

Redefine Buggery Law And Promote Tolerance (Gleaner Letter)

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Here’s a suggestion to settle some critical basic issues concerning homosexuals and the practice of homosexuality in Jamaica.

(1) Facilitate publication of a modified version of the public service announcement about loving affected family members that local television stations have refused to publish, so far.

Modification would involve including reference to family members withother conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, mental illnesses, as well as homosexual orientation.

(2) In order to deal with the legal issues concerning the difference between homosexuality or homosexual orientation, and buggery, without further confusing both the religious and non-religious among us, we should also do the following:

Let us NOT change or revoke the law we have on the books against buggery. But let us define (redefine, if necessary) buggery as being or including forced or involuntary involvement of anyone – man, woman or child – in any same-sex act or activity involving penetration or thecommingling of bodies or sexual organs – against their will and/or without their explicit consent, whether privately or in public.

Also, let us recognise, understand and appreciate the value of extending tolerance, unconditional love, understanding, and compassion to all family members, whether they are affected by HIV/AIDS, mental illness, homosexual orientation, or any other ailment or condition that is beyond their control – without necessarily endorsing or approving particular lifestyles or behaviours.

In the circumstances, it would also appear to be prudent for us to state, specifically, that there will be no legal intervention in private sexual issues and/or activities where mutually consenting adults are voluntarily involved.

At the same time, and because of ‘going that far’ and, especially, in order NOT to encourage the illegal, species-endangering practice of gay sex, we would need to strengthen our resolve to confidently counter all subtle or open promotion or encouragement of buggery in schools and everywhere else in Jamaica.

C. ANTHONY

carltongor@gmail.com

Kingston 10