UGLAB head: Legalize same-sex marriage
Darcy Dear does not hesitate to boast how long he was been with his current partner; the number of years they have been married; and how they have been so happy together. And he certainly is not shy to make it clear that his spouse is no woman.
The homosexual, who heads the United Gays And Lesbians against AIDS Barbados (UGLAB), said he and his partner have been married for 39 of the 42 years that they have been together.
Dear told Barbados TODAY that since his marriage nearly four decades ago, same-sex marriage ceremonies have continued here, often conducted by members of the clergy.
That was why, he said, he did not understand “the sudden outcry” from religious leaders opposed to the legalization of the practice.
“There are same sex couples that have been married here and have been married by the churches. But they wouldn’t have the marriage licence, and that is the legal formality of it. It has been going on for years,” he said.
The 60-year-old Dear said his own marriage ceremony was conducted by a local pastor, and he was given a marriage certificate to prove it. He said the only thing missing to make the vows complete was the legal backing, as has been done in the United States.
A recent US Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across all 50 states of the United States has caused jitters among religious leaders in Barbados and the Caribbean who worry that it won’t be long before regional governments are forced to follow the US lead.
The people of Ireland also voted overwhelmingly in a recent referendum to change their nation’s constitution and allow same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the world to do so through popular vote.
Some local churches have made it clear that they would not stand idly by if any attempts were made to legalize the practice here, arguing that homosexuality violated biblical principles and was forbidden by God.
However, Dear defended the US Supreme Court decision.
“I believe that . . . the ruling is right because you are dealing with people. We all make up the world, we all make up all the taxes, we all do everything together. Rather than people just look at it as a straight people and gay people issue, it is a human being issue,” Dear insisted.
The UGLAB president said he did not believe the Barbadian public was ready for the legalization of same-sex marriage, but it was inevitable.
“Who knows how long I may have, and who knows how soon it may come? But it will come, there is no getting away from it, it will come.
“I have been ready for it all of my life and I am quite sure there is quite a few others. But the general public needs to be able to wrap their brains around that is what will come with time,” Dear said.
He contended that there were gay couples leaving their “white collar jobs here” and migrating so that they could enjoy an open relationship and the entitlement of marriage.
“So I don’t know what Barbados will do with those persons when they return. They may only let them back in because they are Barbadians. But, I don’t understand what all the argument is about. After 42 years of happiness, you don’t think me and my husband are entitled to be legally married?
“When you think about it, man and woman get married and the next thing they are divorced. We have been married for all this time. Tell me if I am asking for too much,” Dear concluded.