Child bearing still voluntary

Senator David Durant, like a number of other Barbadians, has expressed a desire to see this country’s fertility rate increased “for the sake of our future”.

That is not an unreasonable wish for anyone to express, but the arguments made by the goodly senator as reported in Thursday’s edition of the print media and his postulation that same sex unions will make the declining fertility rate worse reflects a level of thinking and ideation which is an affront to the rational and reasonable among us.

Perhaps the reverend senator could help the country to reverse its declining fertility rate by hosting one of his national pray services and as has been done before demand that God fulfills his wish.

It should be noted however that men and women in this day and age are unlikely to reproduce for the sake of reproducing or that anyone can compel them to do so. It is far more complex them that.

It would require nothing short of a comprehensive range of compelling incentives aimed at getting couples to have more children to change the trajectory of the existing trend. We all should know that this is 2013 and not 1813 when women had little or no control over this fertility and were forced by their owners to “breed” for the benefit of those who “owned” them.

And now to the naked red herring the senator has resorted to in order to rail against the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons who dare to pursue a life style which he and his cohorts do not like. The spectra of our women being poor, pregnant and barefooted is a thing of the past and educated 21st century Barbadians know what their Sexual and Reproductive Rights are. Contrary to Reverend Durant’s statements, homosexuality or same sex unions can no more adversely affect fertility rates than the woman or couple who deliberately exercise their democratic right not to conceive. This is still presumed to be a free country and child bearing is still a voluntary enterprise.

I unhesitatingly support the right of men and women to choose their partners without fear of condemnation or discrimination whether they choose same sex partners or a partner of the opposite sex. Love and commitment must take precedence over the backwardness and emotionalism which are passing for enlightenment.

The bigotry and self righteousness which has become the stock-in-trade of some of our citizens is an affront to the love for God and neighbour which Jesus espoused in the New Testament.

Those who so vigorously present themselves as defenders of the faith and guardians of public morality must know that no one person or group has a monopoly on God’s Grace and that ultimately the right to self determination must remain sacred.

— George Griffith

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