Discrimination in any form should be eradicated

first_imgDear Editor,I refer to an article, ‘Linden church leader stages march against homosexuality’, appearing in sections of the media. I shook my head in disbelief as I read this; and I thought to myself that women are raped and battered every day in this country, and this is what this man of God chooses to march against – homosexuality; which is in fact taking a public stand on discriminating on people that are different from him.I am always so curious about why people seem to have such harsh opinions about others’ lifestyles that have no impact on them. So this march was to counter SASOD’s efforts to appeal Guyana’s buggery laws. Well, I wonder if the goodly and godly pastor knows that the antiquated buggery laws also apply to heterosexual persons who may also practise this act.In Guyana we love to practise with I call ‘othering’ — ‘them and us’. We see this in politics, diaspora, race, etc. True humanity and godliness, in my view, is to practise understanding and love for others who are also different from us. In the case of homosexuality, you do not have to accept, but at least make a space for understanding that many are born this way, and do not have the choices that heterosexuals do.Depression and suicide are high among the gay community, I understand. Many who discriminate against LBGTQ people are the loudest critics against racism and other forms of abuse. Often, we are very vocal about issues that affect us directly, but sometimes we need to stretch beyond ourselves and place ourselves in the shoes of others. We all have to be our brothers and sisters’ keepers, we must all be open to speaking up on issues that may not affect us directly but have terrible impacts on others. This is not a religious issue at all; this is a human rights issue!A few months ago, there was an idea floated about a referendum to have Guyanese choose whether to repeal the sodomy law. Imagine, an issue like this left up to citizens, where discrimination against the LBGTQ community is rife. Discrimination is learnt, and at some point discrimination becomes a choice; but to have laws that go against the fundamental practise of human rights is cause for deep reflection within ourselves and as a nation.Dr Raquel Thomas-Caesarlast_img read more