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Peter Espeut | Pro-gay drivel

Published:Friday | August 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM

For hundreds of years in Jamaica and thousands of years in the est, the word ‘marriage’ has had only one meaning in custom and in law: the voluntary union of one man and one woman. In polyandrous and polygamous societies, the word includes unions with multiple partners, but there is always at least one man and one woman involved because marriage performs the biological and sociological function of reproduction – reproduction of individuals and reproduction of society itself.

An important front in the war to normalise homosexuality involves changing the normal meanings of familiar but important words – like ‘marriage’. LGBTQI activists – including the editor of this newspaper – would have us believe that the union of two men or two women should be legalised and dignified with the word ‘marriage’. Legalisation into some sort of civil union is one thing (to be discussed at another time), but calling that union ‘marriage’ does violence to the English language and centuries and millennia of human history.

In its editorial ‘Maurice Tomlinson is courageous and right’ published on August 2, 2019, the editor of this newspaper supports the Emancipation crusade of Tomlinson, “an openly gay Jamaican who is married to a Canadian man”, who, last month, filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) asking them to declare Jamaica’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage offensive, which, in effect, makes illegal in Jamaica Mr Tomlinson’s Canadian marriage.

The upshot of Jamaica’s constitutional position, Mr Tomlinson argues, is that he and his husband, Thomas Decker, may not return to Jamaica and enjoy the rights owed to them under the IACHR, which, as a signatory, Jamaica is pledged to uphold. “He therefore asks that the commission require Jamaica to fulfil its human-rights obligations under the convention,” the petition says.

The Gleaner editor declares that among the guarantees that Mr Tomlinson will presumably argue are being infringed are those relating to the right to ­family under Article 17 of the IACHR, which asserts the “right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to raise a family”.

The editor goes on to say that “Mr Tomlinson has on his side the profundity of logic”.

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The editor, whose grasp of logic is clearly self-serving, interprets Article 17 to mean “the right of men of marriageable age to marry men and raise a family”, rather than “the right of men and women of marriageable age to marry those of the opposite sex and raise a ­family”. No doubt, The Gleaner ­editor will argue that men married to each other can adopt children, and, therefore, raise a family, whatever the negative psychological impact of such an arrangement may be.

The IACHR, says the editor, “places no gender qualification on marriage, or, for that matter, what constitutes a family … . Maurice Tomlinson and Thomas Decker, and whoever else, should have the right to live in Jamaica as husband and husband, which, from our reading, is a guarantee of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, of which Jamaica is a signatory”.

I submit that the reading of Section 17 of the IACHR by the editor of this newspaper is flawed and impoverished in logic. The right of men and women to marry and raise a family reinforced by the IACHR preserves the definition of marriage and family, which has obtained over the last thousands of years, and cannot be warped, as the Gleaner Editor tries to do, to justify same-sex unions, never mind same-sex ‘marriage’.

I submit that in supporting Tomlinson and the LGBTQI lobby with these profoundly illogical arguments, it is the Gleaner ­editor who is as courageous as he is dead wrong. As we celebrate our 57th anniversary of political Independence, let us not seek to conform our laws to those of foreign powers who do not share our deeply held values.

Peter Espeut is a sociologist and Roman Catholic deacon. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.