Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Extend a hand of understanding to gays

Published:Friday | October 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: The purported need to remove the buggery law cannot be a women's right issue, as coined by Maurice Tomlinson in the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

In his article, Mr Tomlinson claimed he got married to his female best friend in an attempt to cure himself of homosexuality. This is a very unfortunate and tragic plight of several homosexual men who feel rejected by society and attempt to conform to what is morally acceptable by pretending to be with someone they cannot even relate to.

I suppose Mr Tomlinson and the many merry men of similar behaviour would feel justified in themselves that they did "all they could" to no longer be homosexual because they had sexual relations with a woman. Unfortunately, homosexuality cannot be swept away by hiding under the covers - with a woman - so to speak.

As I have heard other online commentators profess, Mr Tomlinson's deception and/or his own ignorance cannot be a women's right issue, but rather it truly highlights the need for homosexual men to understand that sexuality is much deeper than what body part goes where. It is a proven scientific fact that the majority of men and women who engage in same-sex behaviour and/or relationships have also been exposed to any one or combination of the following non-exhaustive factors: absent/distant parent who is the same sex as themselves; overinvolvement with parent who is the same sex as themselves; sexual abuse; early exposure to pornography or sexual situations; bad experiences with gender-specific activities; and the list goes on.

Homosexual partnerships vary and it is impractical to tie down any one explanation or solution to all same-sex persons. This is not a blanket issue and cannot merely be summarised by changing the law or not changing the law. However, by keeping the buggery law, there are more inherent benefits to the majority of the society, than if the law were removed to inadequately satisfy a deeper psychological need of a minority community.

May we unite as a society, not to shun a minority group while we advocate for truth to be kept in the public square, but may we unite to also extend a hand of understanding and grace to the same-sex attracted persons who may be struggling to understand the multidimensional reality of what they are going through.

SHANNON HALDANE

lovemarchmovement@gmail.com

Love March Movement