Trinidad, Barbados and Gay Rights

The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                                         
                                                          Trinidad, Barbados and Gay Rights

Barbados and Trinidad seem to be the two Caribbean countries that are engaged in rising discussion about LGBT rights. It is interesting that regional governments are not taking the lead from some states in America , that have accepted it is  impossible to halt the movement for gays to be given the same legal and constitutional rights as the heterosexual community. Normally, we always seem to append ourselves to various trends in the USA. Even the United States Supreme Court apparently recognized that denying gays their rights is not a matter for its urgent consideration, and has left the individual states to deal with the issue.
The problem with Caribbean politicians and policy makers is that they are facing stern opposition of a vocal, established church and   existing archaic laws, relating to buggery and other such acts.  They simply cannot find the fortitude to confront the hypocrisy that gays can be tolerated but not accepted as equals. Hence, we have gays functioning at all levels but they cannot marry their partners and adopt children. Put simply: we regard homosexuality as a sin but still “love” the sinner. This is consistent with the well known religious saying: God hates the sin but loves the sinner.
Regional politicians are experts in using or abusing constitutions in order to keep their power bases intact. Quite recently the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago found loop holes in the constitution to radically alter how elections are contested. However, when confronted by gay activists about LGBT rights, she said the same constitution does not permit such. And she certainly, in our opinion, would not be looking for any loop holes. Gays don’t win elections!
In Barbados the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, at its recent Annual Conference, introduced a resolution, from one of its constituencies, which would seek to protect same sex partners in cases of domestic violence. Already there is a backlash from some of its parliamentarians and the constituency branch. In other words, the originators of the resolution are being accused of trying to slip in the policy, without the backing of the same branch in whose name the resolution stood.
It is interesting that same sex partners are not legally recognized in Barbados and a resolution claiming to give those rights is tabled! That would be a tremendous headache and confusion for law enforcement when they investigate any such abuse/violence. It seems to us that in a miscalculated, attention seeking political charade the party ended up putting the cart before the horse.  However, we appreciate the effort because at least it has put the whole question of gay rights on the front burner.
The Mahogany Coconut Group will continue to support and defend LGBT rights throughout the region. We would advise regional governments to follow progressive positions in some  countries, in relation to gay rights, and states in the USA that have accepted that we should all be equal before the law regardless of sexual preferences or life styles. This issue goes beyond what consenting adults do in their bedrooms. In our opinion, it is a civil rights issue that has no room for religious dogma and political opportunism.



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