The Editor, Sir:
When the argument for support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights is framed as a human-rights issue, thus giving it the right to co-opt children in its defence, it is palpably disingenuous.
The freedom to be is certainly different from the freedom to practise, I would assume. People who find their sexual orientation by birth or by choice to be homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or who are transgender cannot be castigated for this, no matter how distasteful we find their natural orientation. However, where do we get the right to haul children into the cut and thrust of this kind of debate?
It is the practices which engage this orientation which this group wants to publicly enforce that is very offensive to most Jamaicans. Jamaicans are not going around denying this group their right to be human and to fall into any of these categories of sexuality. However, the practice of their sexuality does not have to become a debatable issue in the public square involving our children anymore than the practice of heterosexuals is a public debate involving children.
I find it very offensive whether it is heterosexuals, homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, or for that matter any public display of one's sexual practice that would co-opt our children in its defence, and could not support that as a human right from any quarter.
Moreover, until an 'authority' 'said' that these were now acceptable lifestyle practices, which then made it possible for them to be equated with 'human rights' and 'being black,' they were practices that were held in private away from the glare of the cameras and from the curious eyes of our children, rather than acceptable public practices.
I am alarmed that all it takes to reclassify a human being's humanity is his or her sexual lifestyle practices. Which means to me that someone or some influential group, such as the American group MBLA (Men & Boys Love Association) who has the need to flaunt their pleasurable lifestyle practice of paedophilia, or for that matter any sexual practice now unacceptable to society, can lobby away standards of protection for our children and have their practice determined a human right to the detriment of our children's and for society's healthy development.
A march involving children, without their parents' consent, disguised under the genuine suffering of human beings with HIV, cannot be where groups seek legitimacy for the display of sexual preferences and be accepted, is it? Children and sexual lifestyle practices should remain distinctly separate.
I am, etc.,
YVONNE O. COKE
Hands Across Jamaica For Righteousness