Sun | Mar 26, 2017

Espeut lacks compassion

Published:Wednesday | September 10, 2014 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Roman Catholic Deacon Peter Espeut betrays an amazing lack of compassion in his article 'A foolhardy lawsuit' (Gleaner,
September 6, 2014). Instead of displaying any concern that Javed Jaghai
withdrew his case challenging the anti-sodomy law because of fears for
the well-being of himself and his family, Peter is instead disappointed
that he missed an opportunity to possibly whip Javed in court.

Peter
also seems willing to threaten the Government of Jamaica if it ignores
the "25,000 strong in Half-Way Tree" and reads down the law that
criminalises the private lives of consenting adults. Is Peter endorsing
mob rule, of the sort that scared Javed away from this important case?
Is the tyranny of the majority the criterion for our constitutional
democracy?

Peter proves the point that a little knowledge is a
very dangerous thing. So, his claim that the right to privacy "does not
permit illegal acts to be done in the privacy of one's home" presumes
that a statute banning any private activity is inherently valid under
our constitution!

However, a law criminalising premarital sex in
private would not stand because of our constitutional protections of the
rights to privacy and of the home. These are the same constitutional
rights that Javed sought to invoke, before he was scared off.

Thankfully,
it is the court, as guardians of our Constitution, and not Peter (who
ironically calls himself a human rights advocate), that get to interpret
our rights as Jamaicans.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

mauricet@lgbtiawarecaribbean.com

Montego Bay, St James