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Human Rights and the GLBT Agenda

WOW!!! As I sit to undertake the nerve-wrecking task of writing this blog entry, I shudder at the response of those who may peruse this blog-site more than my feelings on inadequacy and ignorance of the topic I am about to engage. At least I am brave enough to admit that I am not the repository of knowledge on this issue. However, I do have an opinion that I believe is worth positing. I muse over the repudiations that may come from Evangelical Zealots as well as those who may accuse me of being a homophobe or discriminatory in this blog. I, for one, am not afraid of the "heterophobia" that both groups may be guilty of in their repudiations of me. There is room for various points-of-view in this intellectual space that calls for "tolerance". lol

I am one who believes in the protection of human rights. Now, I will not take for granted that we all understand human rights to be the same thing. Many are of the view that rights are denied persons if, for example, those persons are found to be socially/morally deviant (perhaps then, they become less than human). As a noun, human is defined as "A member of the genus Homo and especially of the species H. sapiens." [1] As an adjective, it the word means "Subject to or indicative of the weaknesses, imperfections, and fragility..."[2] A human being is necessarily a homo sapien who is subject to weaknesses, imperfections and fragility. I assume that such definition would find universal application since it defines all of us who happen to still be mortal (sarcasm is fully intended). It does not matter, therefore, the imperfection or weakness that is displayed by any member of the society, s/he must have his/her fundamental human rights respected and protected.

Prime Minister, gave the world much to laugh about (in more ways than one) in a British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC) interview on the International programme, HARDTALK, when he retorted to the interviewer's question that Gays will not be found in his cabinet. This response, the violence meted out against flamboyant as well as suspected "discreet" gays, the incitement of violence in the lyrics of dancehall artistes and the hell, fire and brimestone sermons against homosexuals have left many among the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered/sexual (GLBT) community feeling further alienated and vulnerable and calling for "gay rights". While the cry by the LGBT community for justice (incidentally an often cry in Jamaica), protection and freedom is seen as justified, their cry may be both antithetical to the ethos of their lobbies and may create further impingements upon basic human rights.

While there are lobbies against stigma and discrimination, members of the GLBT community are asking our judicial system to discriminate in their favour and to accord them special privileges. Stigma is further reinforced in their call for "Gay Rights". By virtue of doing so, not only has the community stigmatised itself but has now placed those who hold an opposing view under the label of homophobes, and "discriminators" if they dare voice their discomforts with being around homosexuals or even if they stand against any issue on the homosexual agenda. Certainly, this discredits any point they may have in their quest for anti-stigmatisation/discrimination.

However, who can fault the community for being so ultra aggressive? One would hope that all the policies that protect the basic rights of every human being would also protect memebers of that community. But many times our society treats them as sub-human or just a little worse than animals. "Batty-man fi dead," some say and politicians, academics and even the church are silent on the issue because, though they may not necessarily like each other, they have found commonality in their homophobia and view that as the Batty-men in Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their abomination, so too must those who live among us. The violence against the person act has not been made to cover the battyman and so now, in his reaction he calls for a plan of action that will protect him. The right to employment is denied the Young "lady" who feels trapped in a man's body and sees herself as a man and there is no one that says this is her HUMAN RIGHT (to be imperfect and weak/different but still be employed)so s/he calls for his/her rights as a transgendered person. But do we really need all those various rights?

When we start making all of those special previleges, what we do is that we encroach on the rights of others. Anti-Discriminatory laws will dictate that I cannot, as a DJ sing against the practice of homosexuality, or a preacher cannot preach about what he believes the bible clearly says about the lifestyle choice/determinism lest they both be fined or jailed for discrimination. What then becomes of their right to freely express themselves or to practice one's religion?

If all stakeholders begin the discourse from the perspective that each person is created equal and for the religously/theologically inclined; that all men are created Imago Die (in the image of God),then we will understand that everyone's life (even those we perceive as different, sinful and wicked)is worth something. What we need is the maintenance of the rights of ALL humans and not any special rights as if to say some are better than some while others are worse than some....

Perhaps some of you learned browsers and academics and members of the GLBT community can help enlighten me further.



[1] Answers.com
[2] Ibid

Comments

  1. I too do not have a waelth of knowledge on the subject area, but I do agree with many of your sentiments expressed here, violent abuse (physical or verbal) against GLBT is definitely wrong especially when it comes from the church who you think would know better. We must also do well to respect the rights of another as a human being, the right for them to live even when they are different from us because failure to do so is one of the fundamental reason why there is even so much crime in our society.Over the years,homosexuality is apparently being viewed as some "worst" unforgivable sin and preached against with such passion while other acts of fornication are left not reprimanded. Yes All men are created in God's image even GLBT and all have deviated from what He expects.And so our approach should not be so much of a "Fiah bun dem" judgement against one faction but speaking the truth of God's word without partiality or bias of any sort.Now some GLBT have a tendency of wanting people to "accept" them for how they are because "is so God mek dem" and like u were saying to even comment against them one will be labelled as a homophobe. But their lifestyle is very much against God's initial design regarding His definition of male, female and relationships and so that MUST be said. Stemming from your definition of Human Rights,we all have our own weaknesses and imperfections as human beings, but what will happen when we start seeing those weakenesses as strengths, start celebrating them and imposing them on others? Does the GLBT community see there lifestyle as a weakness or imperfection?

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  2. Thank You seeking his face for your feedback... I am sure you may be in the minority for agreeing with an apostate like myself.
    Furthermore, I think tolerance must be exercised on all levels and by no means does that mean acceptance. I should reserve the right to say whether or not i agree with a lifestyle in a public space without fear of sanctions or persecution. I think the intolerance rests on both sides of the fence. I have a question though how is ministry to them possible when they feel alienated from the church? Since they may seh a suh God mek me, what do you say about telling the truth about how God mek all a wi?

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  3. WOW - this as not, in any way failed my expectations of you Mr D. Marcus Williams - brilliant....i don't know if this is going to make sense or even if it'e relevant but here goes....

    the idea to create and really establish 'other rites' really is based on the fact that, as you rightfully said, we see each other as being different (lesser or more than we are).

    Might i furhter add, it goes far beyond the issue of one's sexuality to the core of our existence. WE treat each other differently based on our socio-economic status. Even within Christendom and other Religious bodies, we have been practicing division and promoting schisms based on our own ideaologies.. we have religious sects, and 'special circles' which at times is based on how much we can contribute. All of which has been established by MAN - who in all ways are EQUAL....while the only thing that divides us are material things at times, which can change at any given moment.

    We spend too much time addressing the things that divide us, rather than finding a common groun and seeking ways to coexist and live at peace with all men.

    What is love and how is it exemplified? it is demonstrated when we can look at the person who is 'different' from we are and not exercise any bias, be the difference be social, economical, religios, sexual or otherwise. And just per adventure it is a case where we see one needs 'help' then how are we (in Christendom) going to 'help' them if our main focus continues to be, as it has been to condem and heap coals of fire on their heads.

    We do it, and sadly enough, even when it is our biological brothers and sisters, woe be it unto us, that we ourselves preach and in the end become cast aways for not offering a hand to someone because they are different.

    Tonight i had an interesing experience... i was nicely dressed (at church) a guy walked in - drunk as a fish and makes noise i got up and went to him, took him outside to talk...we did...i told him he coulnd't be disturbing what was going on but it he wants to stay he would have to be quiet. Further, i told him to go home, freshen up (his skin was soaked, etc) and come back on Sunday, we walked to a 'trench' (small body of water) washed his face and his hair, took out a comb and combed his hairand came back said he was 'ready for church' . i put my hand around his shoulder and walked him in, and too a seat next to him.

    In the closing of Church everyone were holding hands, yet he stood alone, the person who was closest to him moved, to avoid having to hold his hand. I left wherei had moved to and went to him, i put my hand around his shoulder and he stretched out his hand to indicate that i should hold his hand like everyone else was doing. Was he any different than anyone else in the building...a resounding NO....he was just as much in need of 'God' like anyone else in the building, yet he was seperated, maybe unconscioudly and treated different.

    Humanity feels no hurt or pain until she herself is personally affected by it!

    May we recognise the error of our ways and make positive steps to see people for who they are and might i add, seperate a 'sin' from a person!

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  4. First off, let me say, there are no such thing as "Gay Rights". They are commonly referred to as such because the GLBT population does not receive the same rights the hetero population takes for granted. What gay rights really are....equal rights.

    If you look at Christianity, it has a long history of using the Bible (or the word of God) which was written, and rewritten many times throughtout history, to push aside those outside of what is considered "normal" by the majority.

    At one time, Americans used the bible to denounce women. The Bible said women were to be servants of man. Christians said if women were given the right to vote, it would be an abomination in the eyes of God and destroy the nation. The same was said about equality for people of color and interracial marriages.

    The difference between the U.S. Civil Rights, Suffrage Movements and GLBT rights movements is that rights for women and people of color were mandated by the U.S. federal goverment and it was not allowed to be voted on. If a vote was allowed, I am certain people of color would still be drinking from separate drinking fountains in some U.S. states.

    Religion has no place in politics. Take the Bible out of the picture and there is no argument against equality for GLBT persons. Unfortunately, many U.S. Christians feel they have the right to legislate morality, their morality based on their religous ideology.

    I am no less or no more of a man than you and you are no less or more of a man than I, so we need to first recognize that and live accordingly. If you don't like me, that's your right, but that should not give you a right to discriminate against me, nor me against you.

    Being gay is only a 'sin' if you believe it is, so when we have laws that rule against one who is gay , we have laws based on religious ideology, not fact.

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  5. Mr.Hipps, I thank you for your contribution to this On-going discussion. Your point of view is important in helping, not just to ventilate the issue but arriving at consensus.
    Let us first look at the commonalities in our arguements.
    1. All are created equal
    2. A person's (socially deemed) weaknesses/imperfections/difference should not rob him/her of his/her human rights.
    3. There is nothing called gay rights... what people of the GLBT community want is the assurance that their rights are not being impinged upon by religious, social or personal beliefs.

    Where is differ is that you seem to suggest that there is no room for religion in political discussion or the political will of any sovereign nation. What this statement seems to promulgate is the same misanthropy that we are attempting to rid our society of. Gays and religius people reserve the right to their beliefs and to have their voice in politics. A religous view is no worse than the views of anyone else.
    If we are calling for tolerance, we must first demonstrate it or else we are guilty of the same hate message we are repudiating. Make no mistake though, I am fully in agreement for the RIGHTS of ALL MEN (generic)irrespective of religous belief, socio-economic background, race or sexual orientation.

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  6. Ok, such a sensitive topic that most Jamaican would be afraid to even debate on because of the way our society and/or culture is, so to speak. The question is, Is homosexuallity wrong or right? why would one, want to be an homosexual?
    Is it because of financial issues?
    Bad relationships?
    Victim of Rape in a females case?
    As a Jamaican, i was taught in a sense that homosexuallity is the worse sin anyone could commit and as a matter of fact, a murderer or rapist is better accepted in society than a homesexual. Now is this wrong or right?
    As a practicing Christian, and yes i did say practicing, because in a sense Christian means christ-like. Are you as a so called Christian christ like or are you trying to be? Now not to stray from the point, As a christian when ever homosexuallity is discussed or preached about in the church its always about sodom and Gommorah, which is basically saying "batty man fi dead"
    but then again, should one's sexual background stop he or she from being accepted in society?
    Personally i think the whole homosexual act is wrong, God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.... but my opinion would just be disregarded to be "homephobic". But i believe that one should have the same rights as others regardless of their sexual orientation.

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  7. my Bro marcus, again ur post demonstrates ur academic and political ability. very measured in ur presentation of a 'touchy' issue for all.

    i rather like the tone and construction of ur argument and wish to pose a fe questions to further clarify an understanding for all:

    (1)since all are created equal, is there something that has tainted or debalance the equality at some point in the course of history?

    (2)if so then it would mean that all homo sapiens are prone to this tainting?

    (3)as such, dont u believe there would need to be a rebalancing?

    (4)would it not therefore mean that those who remain tainted is different from those who have been rebalanced or brought back?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you Damion for your contribution. It is much appreciated.

    @ chosenone... I thank you for your compliment but to answer your questions:

    1. certainly we were created equal and something debalanced all of us...

    2. All Homo Sapiens are therefore, prone to this tainting; hence my definition of human in the beginning of this discussion.

    3. If there is a need for "rebalancing and if "Christians" are goign to participate in this "rebalancing", then they cannot isolate the persons they seek to rebalance.

    4. Here is where we may differ: The difference that may exist is not in nature but in Justification; an imputation that is totally independent of human volition. "Sin" - a religious concept, equalises everyone still. Being given a "Bligh" (Justification) does not make anyone different it makes them fortunate... but even if there is a difference how is that difference measured in when the different people..express the same misanthropy as the "non-different" ones?

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