Rights and freedoms for all!

Recent events in Jamaica surrounding the brutal murder of a human being described in the media reports as a “cross dresser” should be a wake-up call for our “God fearing” populations here in Barbados and across the Caribbean generally.

It is to be regretted that there seems to be a growing level of intolerance by some in our society to any persons or groups who exercise their God given right to live their lives as they see fit. It is as if some of us self righteously ascribe unto ourselves the power and authority to force others to accept our morality, life style and cultural norms as the one and only “right” way of living.

The lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender members of our society, like all other citizens, are entitled to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms, as enshrined in the constitution of every Caribbean state, and must not be made to feel that they ought to be apologetic for their way of life.

Any democratic society worth its salt must be broad minded enough to accommodate the expression of the sexual diversity which is present in any population.

Our “Christian” society and church leaders in particular are failing to provide the leadership which this issue demands at this time. The demagoguery which is spewed across the national landscape from soap boxes and pulpits from day to day is an insult to the teaching of Jesus Christ which admonishes us in the two great Commandments to “love God and our neighbour as we love ourselves”.

Unless we as a people demonstrate a higher level of respect for individuals who exercise their God given right to self determination and to exercise their sexuality free from discrimination and physical violence, the human tragedy which so frequently envelops Jamaican society could become the norm in our beloved Barbados.

Leadership can make the world of difference and those who profess to be Christ apostles, disciples, bishops, priests and followers have a duty to shed light where dismal darkness seemingly dominates.

Sexual preference does not determine our worthiness as citizens or our ability to contribute to the growth and development of Barbadian society.

Our intrinsic worth and dignity as human beings transcends sexuality.

“Nuff” respect due!

— George Griffith

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