Advocates for Buggery Pose More Threat to Society than pastor Anderson - Wayne West
He made it clear that no one should be killed because of their sexual orientation, but Dr Wayne West, chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, believes that a proposal to ban Pastor Steven Anderson from coming to Jamaica would be a breach of his right to freedom of speech.
An online petition was started by Jamaican gay activist Jay John to prevent Anderson, an American Baptist pastor, from coming on a mission trip to Jamaica. Anderson was described by some critics as a hate preacher for his comments on several issues, including the 2016 shooting of 49 people inside the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Freedom of speech
West said while he will never support any group of persons being murdered, he believed advocates who are calling for the practice of buggery to become a human right pose more threat to the society than the pastor.
"Christians are to be sympathetic when all human beings made in the image of God are violently killed. But I don't support restriction of freedom of speech.
"It is true that Pastor Anderson was unsympathetic when all those persons died in Orlando. But the fact is, others in media, universities, academia, politics are advocating that buggery be a so-called human right, when the practice of buggery, by men who have sex with men, was instrumental in starting the AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) pandemic," he said.
"The AIDS pandemic has, to date, resulted in the death of more than 36 million persons and some 35 or so million persons are currently infected with HIV. You cannot separate the practice of buggery, which is deemed a human right, by some persons, from these devastating consequences produced by the AIDS pandemic. This is why we think freedom of speech is very important. Even though what he is saying is unsatisfactory, from our point of view, it is important," West told The Gleaner.
- Ja cannot afford to import another bigot - Fr Sean Major-Campbell
The Reverend Father Sean Major-Campbell, however, said that he was never one who was quick to support ban or censure but noted that the prejudicial approach of stereotyping victims in the Orlando nightclub tragedy as paedophiles should not be taken lightly.
"We still live in a country where many persons suffer from abuse in the form of naming, shaming, and bullying with the use of Jamaican pejoratives for LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and queer) persons, in the workplace, on the playing field, in school, and, sadly, even in the home," Major-Campbell said.
"This man's history of promoting stigma and discrimination, homophobia and misogyny is an insult to the human dignity of our women and sexual minorities. Jamaica can ill afford importing another bigot to add to our own home-grown practitioners in this area. Note, too, that his focus is on reaching our children."