Homophobia: A growing threat to peace in the Caribbean
Of all the challenges that present themselves as obstacles to peace in the Caribbean, none equals the growing threat of homophobia. Flagged on the slates of religion as a barbaric, sodomy and sinful way of living that transgresses the natural role and aim of sexual activity and does not possess values common with morality; homophobia is now fulfilling the ideological role that heterodoxy served in the Middle Ages from which to understand the Caribbean.
If studies concerning the rising incidences of crime are correct, then the Caribbean can easily be portrayed as the most homophobic place on earth. As ministers of religion seek to preserve traditional family values and politicians engage more homophobic music in their campaigns and civilians and even children point fingers to the sky shaped in the form of guns, the tune for equal rights and inclusion also transcend. In the interim, the music of popular Jamaican dancehall icon Buju Banton, – the “batty boy” (a Jamaican epithet for homosexual) must die, blare in nightclubs, homes and social gatherings throughout the Caribbean.
Whether by drowning, stoning or stabbing, he must die.
Yes! “Mister Faggot” is being burnt in the Caribbean and he grimaces in agony. Homosexuals and lesbians are not just detriments but notorious criminals in Caribbean society.
Beneath an apparent façade of a November election in the US where the policies, laws and practices applicable to homosexuals and lesbians are real and widely publicized, the sexual politics of the Caribbean’s post-colonial mind unravels a different social phenomena. Religion and politics are now the tools indirectly used by its ministers to propagate injustice and keep things intact, provoking a hypocritical controversy of morality. God is again used as a scapegoat for enslaving us and provoking a climate of fear, discrimination and open rebuke against homosexuals and lesbians.
Although homosexuality now stalks the Catholic and many Pentecostal churches with crushing revelations about the behaviour of the pathetic lives of priests, bishops and pastors behind closed doors, ministers of religion are now the ones disseminating hate crimes against homosexuals and lesbians from the pulpits. Religious and political bigots are now running rampant, publicizing some sins as good and scapegoating homosexuals and lesbians as threats to Caribbean society forgetting to look at the man in the mirror and the Golden Rule that we should love our neighbours as ourselves.
It is obvious that there is a huge moral crisis in the Caribbean, hence the Pan Caribbean Partnerships against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) must renew calls for the removal of anti-gay laws in the Caribbean regardless of the serious political or religious overtones. Anti-gay laws in the Caribbean are not only preventing homosexuals from accessing counseling and testing services for HIV and AIDS but also leading to widespread crime and the murder of innocent victims. As the religious Caribbean community sees it, homosexuals and lesbians are not entitled to rights.
If a government in a pluralistic society must accommodate and respect the human rights and dignity of each individual, then it must be seen that laws criminalizing homosexuality are depriving the Caribbean of the use of remarkably talented people in all fields of life who could be contributing to the growth and opulence of every Caribbean country.
Regardless of sociologist Claude Douglas claims that the Caribbean’s attitude to homosexuality is changing, homosexuality is still not becoming an alternative and acceptable form of human sexuality in the Caribbean.
The discrimination of gays and lesbians in the Caribbean continues to be one of intolerance and totally ignored by human rights groups and government and reports of anti-gay hostility in the Caribbean display hate, violence, death and damnation.
Even if it is perceived that the glut of homophobic reggae songs and chants that ‘God made Eve not Steve’ continue to contribute to a genre of its own that embodies a Chrysalids approach, hostile attitudes towards homosexuals violate important moral principles, and simply depart from the Golden Rule. Prejudice against homosexuals and lesbians in our modern Caribbean society echo the same sentiments of Hitler‘s Germany and fascism against Jews and even borrows an Orwellian refrain in being brainwashed by the ‘party’ and ‘big brother’ for evil is now good and crime is now peace.
Homophobia is taking place in the name of the Lord and is the growing threat to peace in the Caribbean.
Forthwith, while critics continue to argue that homophobia might very well be the defining theme between religion and true Christianity in the Caribbean, in the meantime…