The Editor, Sir:
In his latest column on Friday, March 8, 2013, Peter Espeut continues to wage war on reason, secularism, and rudimentary human rights theory. According to him, both the 'gay lobby' and secularists are attempting to enact a tyranny of the minority.
Peter, like many in the religious lobby, appears to operate from the presumption of majoritarian legitimacy. If the freedom of minorities is contingent on the acceptance or approval of majorities, what's on offer isn't freedom.
Majorities, historically, have justified segregation and Jim Crow in the United States, female genital mutilation in parts of Africa, and the stoning of adulterers in parts of the Islamic world. Peter should know that, by far, the greater danger is the tyranny of the majority, not the minority.
In the Jamaican context, this majoritarianism seems to mean that Christians get to define the humanity of minorities, whether sexual or religious. Worse, Christians get to define what rights they may enjoy. Peter complains that the 'gay lobby' wants more than human rights.
DEMAND FOR EQUALITY
Looking at this issue from a secular point of view, it's obvious that this is not a demand for special treatment, but a demand to be accorded the exact same rights enjoyed by the majority.
Given Peter's continuing confusion about the nature and purpose of 'gay rights', I commend to him the words of my friend Dr Edward Akintola Hubbard:
"... What is called 'gay rights' is nothing more than a working advocacy platform for equality between LGBT persons and other human beings - i.e., a programme of advocacy that seeks to ensure that LGBT persons have the same rights as everyone else."
I suggest a small thought experiment for Peter. In his column, I invite him to substitute the word 'gay' or 'homosexual' with any of the following choice of words: 'Afro-descendant', 'indigenous', 'women', or 'disabled'. If gay people are the aspiring tyrants that Peter claims, then, so too, are these groups.
The central issue raised in this letter, and in my critique of Ruel Reid at Jamaica College, is the danger of infusing religion into secular spaces.
It is beyond delusional for Peter to accuse 'the minority' of seeking to impose our views on the majority.