Sat | Oct 19, 2019

Letter of the Day | Love March spreading gay hate

Published:Monday | October 7, 2019 | 12:19 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I initially laughed at Dr Daniel Thomas’ letter in The Gleaner (‘Gay ‘Super Don’ out to strong-arm majority’, October 4, 2019), but after some reflection, I realised that his piece was, in fact, not funny at all. His type of fearmongering is going to get LGBT people killed. By representing us as a dangerous threat to society, Thomas has helped to put a target on our backs in our already-violent society.

Among other things, Thomas hysterically claimed that I was some sort of ‘Super Don’ LGBT conquistador invading and forcing Caribbean states to submit to my “LGBT agenda”. He also asserts that Montego Bay Pride’s request to use the taxpayer-funded Montego Bay Cultural Centre for a series of events was another attempt to push our dreaded agenda down people’s throats.

While I thank Dr Thomas for the vaunted assessment of my work, it is amazing that he thinks me so powerful as to compare to the church-supported, tragic decimation of native cultures that followed the Spanish conquest of the New World. Hardly!

But contrary to his statement, I have NO LGBT cases in Trinidad and St Vincent, as these are being pursued by other brave activists. I also assure Dr Thomas that, as a lawyer, I have no delusions about the challenges associated with bringing legal cases and I would have much preferred to negotiate settlements.

Bad Business

What Dr Thomas and his Love March Movement are unaware of is that NO OTHER venue would host Montego Bay Pride after the mayor’s statement whipped up so much homophobia in the city. And those venues that had confirmed actually cancelled on us because of what the mayor said. So, no, it wasn’t about Montego Bay Pride “humbly seeking another venue”.

There was simply NONE available! And for his information, LGBT people are tax-paying citizens who have the right of full access to the SECULAR public space that is the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.

Finally, I didn’t find Thomas’ diatribe humorous but, in fact quite deadly. As the article that announced my case against the mayor pointed out, and of which Thomas is aware, I was mobbed by angry vendors in front of the Montego Bay Cultural Centre because of the homophobic violence whipped up by the mayor’s statement. Even the police stated that they could not protect Montego Bay Pride because of what the mayor said. Dr Thomas must accept that this often violent homophobia is directly fed by the sort of intolerant religious extremism that he and his group practise.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

Founder, Montego Bay Pride