by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 04 June 2006)
This past Wednesday a letter to the Editor caught my eye because it called for Christians to boycott a certain business establishment because it hosted an event for the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD).
I am always for a good boycott and since I have a working knowledge of how Christians feel about homosexuals, I knew this letter written by Roger Williams would be celebrated by most of the religious section of society.
However, I thought it would only be right to point out some interesting points that should also be considered. For example, Mr. Williams asked this question, “And why is Bibi Shadeek so silent, given the implications for the entrapment and trafficking in children?” (sic)
I think it is only fair to point out that the trafficking of children in Guyana is not being spearheaded by the homosexual society. In fact, many of the children being trafficked and sexually exploited are handed over by their own parents.
Just this week Kaieteur News featured a stirring story about a young man who was sexually abused by his new stepfather. Once his mother found out, she sent him to live with a family member, but took no legal action against her son’s torturer. The article said she was even staying with the paedophile! This is especially dangerous since she has another young boy in the home as well.
Please take note that this was a supposed heterosexual man who sexually abused this boy – not one of those in attendance at the recent event held by SASOD at the Sidewalk Café. Perhaps if Mr. Williams is so concerned about Guyana’s children, he should boycott the home of this boy’s stepfather. At least then a proven criminal would be targeted.
It may very well be true that Guyana still holds laws on its books concerning consensual sodomy, but those laws should be changed. A person should not go to jail simply because he/she has decided to love someone who is the same gender.
While I am sure there are some homosexual criminals - just as there are heterosexual criminals – a gay person should not be sent to jail simply because of the person they chose to have sex with the night before. I do not know if Guyana has laws against adultery as well, but if it does, then according to Mr. Williams these people should be rounded up and jailed as well for breaking the law.
Mr. Williams stated, “Guyana's criminal law prohibits same-sex relationships and intercourse … for good moral and medical reasons.” He also said Kaieteur News should not accommodate any press releases from such groups as the SASOD. Conversely, I wonder if Mr. Williams realises that his definition of morality may not be shared by the whole nation?
To be sure, there probably is a large portion of the nation who does share the same moral standards as Mr. Williams, but obviously not everyone or there would not have been anyone at the SASOD event.
For those who do not share Mr. Williams’ thoughts on morality and realise the children of Guyana have more to fear from their own family members and neighbours than from the homosexual community, a call for a boycott is a bit extreme.
Antiquated laws and stereotypical generalisations aside, there is another interesting point that I would like to address. The primary Christian Scripture used to vilify homosexuals is based on a letter written from Paul the Apostle to the church at Corinth. In this portion of the letter, Paul is chastising the church.
He said in 1 Corinthians 6:7-10, “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
It seems to me that if Mr. Williams is going to call for a boycott against businesses that host events for those who practice a gay lifestyle, he must also boycott businesses who accommodate those who are cheaters, wrongdoers, sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, prostitutes, thieves, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers.
Mr. Williams was also concerned that these types of events serve to recruit more to the gay lifestyle. He said, “Labouring under ‘sexual orientation’, the ‘film festival’, ‘exhibition’ and ‘radio programme’ represented nothing more than a recruitment drive for homosexual activity.”
No Mr. Williams, these people are not trying to recruit more people to their way of life. These events are nothing more than a celebration of their lives, much like what you do when you go to church on Sunday mornings and celebrate your own life.
These events also allow others to see that those in the homosexual community are not aliens with antennas coming out of their heads; they are normal human beings with human emotions just like you and me. Trust me, a person will not become homosexual simply because they walk by the Sidewalk Café while it is hosting an event for the SASOD.
I understand that there are some who, like Mr. Williams, are concerned about events like this. After all, such happenings challenge what we have been taught as acceptable and proper.
However, I simply think it is unwarranted to be so alarmed when a group of homosexuals get together. It would be far more beneficial to spend our energies trying to jail the real child molesters (like that man who molested his young stepson), the thieving criminals and the swindling politicians. These are the people who are dragging Guyana’s morality into a cesspool of grime.